New landlord - renting my own home out

Hi everyone, first time landlord here.
I’m planning to rent out the flat I live in because I’m growing to really dislike the area I live in and want to try something different (also going through a breakup, although we didn’t live together). A lot of flats in my building are for sale and aren’t selling so I’m thinking of renting my place and renting somewhere else. Thinking of doing the following:

  • find a tenant via personal contacts/work noticeboard/etc and set rent slightly below market and with bills/utilities included
  • Planning to leave all my furniture and possibly tv. I have some “nice” stuff but it seems not worth the hassle of replacing it with cheaper stuff or using self storage (£60-100 a month where I live) if I can’t bring with
  • Going to draw up my own tenancy agreement based on model agreement and get someone to do a proper inventory

any pitfalls with any of the above? Glad to hear anyone’s tuppence worth

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ALWAYS put all the utilities in the renters name not yours


Including utilities is a bad idea. You will not have any control, heating bills galore inevitable.

I never provide furnished anymore, just something else to maintain and unlikely to be respected. Tenant can be more committed if provides own furniture and white goods.

It’s a landlord’s market, generally dont need to compete too much.

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if furniture of sentimentalvalue do not leave it there . A renter will never look after a place like you wish

never include bills, that’s asking for trouble. and don’t rent to people you know, e.g. people at work, it can get very messy and you’ll have collateral damage. take your tv with you. do your own inventory, you know the place best, take lots of photos with datestamps and share with tenant in advance. do you pay a leaseholder management fee, who pays that?

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you do realise you will have to get Elec and gas certs . Have epc done etc. You will pay tax on rent you receive but no tax relief on the rent you pay. You poss need freeholders permission and you pay any service charge . Wow !


I suspect the biggest pitfall is your obvious lack of experience being a landlord.

How would you manage if your tenant stopped paying rent after 2 months, and will your mortgage provider allow you to rent it out ?


You are at a dangerous moment. You don’t know what you don’t know and you could make a very costly mistake. I would suggest you use a traditional agent for at least a year as they will know a bit more than you. If you then want to continue longer term and want to self manage, then do some training first. The penalties for very simple mistakes can be tens of thousands of pounds or even imprisonment for some issues.


I’ve been through this and more.
1st piece of advice don’t rent to friends and use an agent or Openrent for letting.
Also, get rid of your furniture and donate it to a charity as you will have less problems. For example if the tv breaks you are obliged to replace it, and everything else. Also most renters have their own stuff so thats a problem.

Also all the checks apply gas, electric, dps etc.

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Be careful. You’re about to start walking across a minefield without realising it’s a minefield. Take the advice that other respondents have already given. Good luck


Im looking for someone to take me on as a renter im 56 years old with adult son yusuf with autism and daughter with similar, i need to be near my daughter in enfield, all i ask for is to wait for housing benefit to pay me, im desoereate to move from cranbrook kent i hate it there and im isolated away, i am due student finance in february and would happily give it to my new landlord as a deposit.

Agree with all the above, don’t leave furniture if it breaks eg. Washing machine you will be expected to replace it. Open rent are very good to advertise through and not as expensive as agents. Good luck.

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A significant percentage of tenants do not pay, getting a reluctant tenant out is time consuming, expensive and stressful.
I always buy a property in a desirable area, if it isnt then you wont get better tenants
Sell your flat take a loss if necessary and buy in a better area. Put your quality of life first
The glory days of rental have gone, its really more trouble than its worth now


You sound as though you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re renting the place.

1st if you’ve got a mortgage you’ve got to notify the mortgage company. If not you’re in breach the mortgage and they can ask for the money back or force for sale.

You will have to have an EPC, Wiring inspection and possible Upgrade, gas Certificate, Regularly serviced, You will have to go through all the right to rent, rental administration, and use one of the deposit agencies.

You will then have to keep income and expenses recorded and declare this at the end of each year.

Any expense you have in setting up the flat for rental, including advertising, Smoke alarms making, making safe any areas, duplicates for keys.

What you cannot do is charge anything for administration?

As a first time possible landlord, there is a lot to do and the risk of fines is immense if you get it wrong as is getting the person out if things go sour.

All members living full-time at a property must be registered with the council. At the moment if you live on your own you get the 25% discount, but if a couple moves in that would not apply and I would not recommend you include utility bills, as in winter, the cost could skyrocket or aren’t any tariff increases .

So, in summary, you are being a little naive in your approach, and opening yourself up to a massive bag of worms.

Do it right or don’t do it at all


I’d say do all your due diligence, referencing, deposit, meet the tenant, as questions, find out what kind of people they are. These things are non-negotiable especially if this is your home. Use open rent as it’s easy and cost effective. Also, I find the comments about furniture are exaggerated here. Leave the furniture and list it in the inventory and you always have the deposit to fall back on. A little bit of leeway pays off in getting the right people in. Good luck.

Wow, if you do that you will seriously regret it. Everything you state is a pitfall. Never include utilities, only let unfurnished, don’t let to friends, family, colleagues or anybody you know. Don’t draw up your own agreement

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follow what Donagh says All he says is correct


Where about’s is your property? Kind regards.

After reading all the above I would sit down and seriously consider your options, it looks to me that you are in a run down area and if no one is buying then there’s every chance the rental market is also very poor.
If you are depending on the rent from the flat to cover your mortgage or pay the rental on your next flat, be exceptionally careful that you pick the right tenant otherwise you could end up having to find the money to either pay the mortgage on the current flat or the rent on the other flat.
For me I would sell up in this undesirable area even at a loss.
As someone has already stated, now is not a good time to get into the rental market and things will not improve until government’s learn to appreciate what the PRS does for communities.


This is rare, but I am going to disagree (partially) with Colin3. Letting unfurnished (no white goods, bed, wardrobe and table/chairs) depends on the market segment you are letting in and location. If you advertised an average flat in good condition in central London, expect to get significantly fewer viewings if unfurnished. There are exactly zero unfurnished flats advertised in my area (studios up to 4 bed). Yes, unfurnished preferable from a landlord’s perspective.