What to do with your home when you travel

Fri 22 Feb 2019
An increasingly popular trend is for people to take a gap year later in life. Since many will be homeowners, it’s sensible to consider what to do with your home while you’re away.

Depending on how long you’re planning to travel for, one solution is to let your property to a tenant. This offers the potential to provide useful additional income during your travels, whilst making sure your home stays occupied and secure.

How to rent your home whilst you travel

With this option, bear in mind properties are typically let on an ‘assured shorthold agreement’ basis, which has a minimum six months’ term. If you have a mortgage, you’ll need to ask your loan provider if they allow you to let your home.  If they’re not keen, it might be worth reviewing your mortgage options with a broker: you may even get a better rate!

In addition, you’ll need to check your home can be let legally and safely. For example, by law you need a Gas Safety Certificate and a current Energy Performance Certificate; and your property must meet the twenty-nine Health and Safety Rating System requirements. These cover aspects such as electrical safety, ensuring the property is damp-free, and that flooring is in good condition, especially on stairs, to avoid trips and falls. 

This may seem a lot of information to take in initially, but letting experts will, free of charge:
  1. Correctly value your rental potential so that you can plan your finances
  2. Check your home meets legal letting standards
  3. Find the best tenant for your property while you are away.
When choosing an agent to look after the property for you, ensure agents are members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents. This guarantees they have Client Money Protection insurance, thus protecting your rental income should anything happen to the agent’s business. It also means the agent is likely to keep up with new legal requirements: this year alone there could be at least ten changes to the way we let property in England. 

Taking out landlord insurance during your gap year can help ensure any problems arising are dealt with swiftly and without affecting your finances. Working with an expert letting agent such as Leaders means that you can count on us to look after your tenant and home, and resolve any issues that crop up, leaving you able to enjoy your time away. 

Thinking of taking a gap year? Could your property help to finance your trip? Get a free instant online rental valuation today.