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Considering Renting out your Home while Living Overseas?

Sep 20th 2023

This year, our lettings agents have seen an increase in the number of Bristol homeowners looking to move abroad.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has changed from many being restricted to work from home to many having the ability to work from anywhere in the world. Why not? With software such as Zoom, Teams and cloud-based systems have allowed people to connect at a click of a button.

More people than ever are seeking to make the best of this opportunity, while avoiding the high cost of living in the UK, by making the move to living overseas.

Letting your Home as an Expat

Of this new wave of British expats, an increasing number are choosing to let their property while living abroad. It’s easy to see why this is an attractive prospect – with the rental market so competitive, why let a good home stand empty? And rental income feeding into your bank account while you start your new life abroad is useful too.

We’ve this in mind, our professional agents have put together some options for you to consider if you are looking to move away.

boarding a plane

The Risks of Letting your Property

Firstly, I think it’s fair to say that, unless you have already experienced living abroad and have tried and tested the waters, selling your property should be one of the last options on your list.

Ever been on holiday for too long and just couldn’t wait to come back home? Yes, we are humans, and many of those who try leaving their home country find themselves homesick.

There are many factors in addition to this why things may not work out. If any of them do come to be, you may eventually come to regret selling and find yourself stuck with nowhere to come home to. 

In the current climate you often hear stories from people who say, “once you come off the property ladder, you may never be able to get back on”.


Considerations for International Landlords

If you’re feeling confident that your move abroad will be relatively long term, there are a few other things you should think about to give your letting project the highest chance of success:

  • Plan Early – Always plan well ahead of time and never leave things to the last minute. This will help you avoid undue stress.
  • Property Management – Arrange a property valuation from an Expert. Look for an agency who can assist with the day-to-day management of your property, arrange maintenance, and assist with collecting the monthly rental.
  • HMRC – Many people are unaware of this but, if you are living abroad for more than 6 months, you must be registered as a Non-Resident landlord.
  • Mortgage – If you have a mortgage, you must inform your lender that you will be renting out your property. There may be associated fees with this. However, it’s better than not telling them, which can result in breaching your mortgage conditions and associated fees.
  • Insurance – Review your insurance policy and check to see if they can provide cover for your property if rented out.
  • Non Resident Landlord Scheme – Research how your taxes may be affected by living overseas
  • Legislation – We are past the days where you can simply hand over the keys to your property to your new tenants and expect everything to be fine. However, letting property requires in-depth knowledge of the law and regulations.  This is where a local Letting Agent like us is required.

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Financial planning

All of the above will have some financial implication and it is important that you consider how this may affect you.

Renting out your property will bring in a stream of income but having a property valuation will enable you to get a realistic view of the rental value of your property to give you an idea of your future finances.  If you are looking at have your property managed, then also factor in the costs of letting and management of your property.

Further considerations for non resident landlords

  • Currently, the legal minimum tenure for tenancy is 6 months. If you wish to regain possession of your property in the near future, you also need to factor in the statutory notice period of 2 months to end the tenancy.
  • In Bristol, the HMO and Selective Licensing rules are in effect. Consider the cost of this as well as the cost of any adaptations your property needs in order to comply. Further information of property licensing can be found on our blog.
  • It’s important to take the cost of maintenance and any servicing your property into account. Like a car requires a regular service and MOT, houses and flats benefit from active and preventative maintenance and well as annual safety checks.  A good property manager will be able to advise of thepotential costs to consider here.

Final thoughts

We frequently speak to landlords who plan for family members, friends, or even acquaintances to maintain and manage their property while they spend time abroad. This can go wrong in a number of ways, from difficulty dealing with problematic tenants, to property negligence, to misunderstanding rental legislation, ending up with a heavy fine. Don’t be the person who thinks “My mother’s, uncle’s, son’s friend who is a builder can deal with maintenance and that my Aunty will collect the rental for me”.


Why not contact Let’s Rent today and speak to one of our qualified Bristol property experts on 0117 2541133.

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Re: Usman Ayub – Lets Rent Letting & Management Prior to meeting Usman, the experience in trying to rent property in Bristol for over 6 months was demoralising. A Let's Rent representative (Seb) contacted me by phone to say they'd managed to alter a few appointments for the viewing & I would be me by Usman. He was punctual & informative throughout prior to our entrance to the building. He informed me of the layout, security & access which therefore covered all the H&S criteria in case there was an issue. Once the viewing was over, Usman assured me that he will send over the documents via email for me to complete, which was actioned without delay. Throughout the legal itinerary & required information, he kept me informed which enabled me to clear up some issues the automated system rejected unbeknownst to me. Usman is a valid member of the team and the functionality of this business benefits with him as a valid member.
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