OpenRent Community

Sell or Rent? What to Do with Your Empty Property

Originally published at: https://blog.openrent.co.uk/sell-or-rent-what-to-do-with-your-empty-property/

An empty property hits landlords with a double whammy: you having no money coming in yet still have bills to pay. Meanwhile, your empty property can easily fall into disrepair and may even invalidate your buildings insurance. Sell or Rent? While selling up is undoubtedly an option, renting is likely a better way to get…

We had tenants who’s ref seemed ok snd despite assurances of high standard of cleanliness etc as I hand over a property ( as new). On viewing said it was perfect.
I returned a few days after her move in to find my carpets on rear lawn!!! Laminate being fitted( very shoddily) we certainly had words! She had counter signed every page of tenancy doc that she understood NO ALTERATIONS as everything was ‘as new’. As I was going away we agreed she could stay but with regular inspections. She was clean and paid on time ( give it take a few days)
We then discover she is of Gypsy / traveller heritage.
2nd year payments late every month and constantly asking for different carpets bathroom floor despite them being fine, but not her chosen colour ( neutral beige) she wanted GREY!
Then … no payments from Jan this year. Nothing not a penny. Evidently a man ( don’t know who) moved in and behaviour/ communication nightmare. Wouldn’t allow gas engineer in fir cp12 despite I’d already paid! Wouldn’t allow us access for inspection. Fully understood gov said no evictions!
Then End of Sept. a text… gone. !!!Key on windowsill. It’s cost us a fortune taking up flooring & replacing , clearing out , CLEANING, Painting gas, elec checks etc etc, I cud go on . Now it’s back to perfect… SELL!!! However have a buyer ( foreign? Dragging her heals and ? Time wasting? So yes costing me council tax and heating , journeys to check property 2/3 times a week . But do I want to rent again after this nightmare? No… I have had many and still have another property but frankly … interest is low if sell snd get £££££ but Current Covid times Gov doesn’t care a jot about responsible LANDLORDS who get treated and effectively no support. As long as the Gov doesn’t have more homeless. So I’ve had no rent, will have to deal with DPS. As she left no forward address and I’m dealing with utility providers with huge debts and false identities. Can I keep the deposit,? as rules say only if I complete Forms. Re damages which we have had significant ( Machete holes in doors and walls we have photo proof) but no forward address where she’s gone as she’s left a trail of debt . So my view I’m not taking on tenants in current times as Gov offers no support. They can move in … you can’t get them out, and we have no powers no money snd all the risks!! So please god my sake goes thru!

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wise after the event… There are certain people I will never entertain. as they leave behind a load of rubbish everywhere they stay, I cannot say here who they are but you can tell by the way they conduct themseves and how they talk, I may interview 30 to 35 before I find a good one

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I increasingly feel that rental shouldn’t be something that lay individuals should get mixed up in on their own. And yes I consider letting agents “on their own” as the landlord is liable for the agent’s screw ups!

The larger companies I’ve personally rented from has been a good experience, and they have the resources to weather this kind of thing. When you have 100 properties, having one need to be out of commission to be gutted is nothing to your income.

I see billionaires who encourage regular people to start renting property- but there’s so much risk of it being a money pit and absolute heartache.

It’s one thing if you’re a contractor yourself and can do these repairs yourself, and enjoy handling tenants.

If your interest is purely financial- sell the house, there are far less dangerous ways to invest your money!

I hope that your sale goes through!

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I think this is why Government are encouraging all these build to rent providers. In my area Tipi are offering rentals with no deposit, pets allowed, use of social spaces and gyms, pre-set-up utilities that are pay as you go for the tenant, 24hr security, free wi-fi and bike storage etc. They can afford to do this because they own the buildings and are letting at scale. The rents are about 40% higher than local similar properties, but they have no shortage of takers at the moment. Governments (national and local) like them because its easy to implement regulatory changes and they can insist on a proportion of social housing lets as part of the planning process. Whether this model can survive evictions bans and wide-scale job losses will be hard to tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Government giving them some sort of bailout if they get into difficulty.

I would also agree that letting residential property is no place for the amateur or accidental landlord any longer. However, I think that there is still a place for the professional landlord (even of small portfolios) who treats it as a business and learns their craft.