If you’re moving in with your partner and you both own a property, you may be trying to decide between selling up and keeping hold of yours to provide a source of income and/or a longer-term lump sum of cash in the future.
The case for selling
Selling means you can release the equity that’s currently tied up in the property. And because it has been your primary residence, there’s no capital gains to pay on any increase in value since you bought it.
If you have been living in the property on your own, chances are it’s appropriate for a first-time buyer and there’s no shortage of those in most areas, so you may be able to agree a sale relatively quickly. Speak to one of our sales team in your local branch for an up-to-date market appraisal as we are finding price movements are extremely localised.
The case for letting
No matter how positive you feel about a relationship today, the reality is that things can change – sometimes very quickly. And although there is currently proposed legislation to abolish ‘no fault’ evictions in England, one of the grounds for being able to regain possession of your property under a Section 21 notice will be needing to move back into the property yourself. So, if things went wrong with co-habiting and you wanted to return to your former home, you could be back there in around two months, subject to the correct notice being given to the tenant and the length of time they have been in the property.
If you do decide to let, there are three important things to remember:
- If you currently have a standard residential mortgage on the property, you will need to contact your lender to change this to a Buy to Let mortgage, otherwise you could be committing mortgage fraud. Our partners at Embrace Financial Services can help you with this and answer any questions you might have.
- You will have to change your home buildings and contents insurance to a specialist landlord insurance product. Rented properties are considered higher risk than owner-occupied ones, so you must ensure you are properly covered. Again, one of our advisers can give you full information and a no-obligation quotation.
- You must ensure the property meets all the requirements to be legally let. There is a lot to know, including:
- obtaining gas safety certification
- making electrical safety checks
- meeting fire safety requirements
- Ensuring the property is free from all 29 hazards as per the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
There are also a number of regulations you must follow when securing a tenant, such as making Right to Rent checks and protecting their deposit.
To help with your decision, do get in touch with your local Reeds Rains branch who can answer any questions you may have. If you would like a visit to your property from a Lettings Manager this can be done arranged at the same time and they can advise what steps you need to take and any changes that need to be made before you can rent it out.