Accidental landlords on the decline

Published: 17/10/2013

As the residential property market continues to improve, the number of accidental landlords entering the letting game has decreased.

‘Accidental, or reluctant, landlords’ is a term used to describe landlords who, having failed to sell their property, have decided to rent it out instead.

According to recent figures from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) the proportion of reluctant landlords has dropped from 26% to 21% in the last three months. This difference is even more significant when compared to figures from 2012 when accidental landlords accounted for 42% of the marketplace.

As the residential market picks up, existing accidental landlords may look for an exit from the letting market. For those who are then Rob Denman, Head of GW LET, explains the legal procedure involved in selling a rental property:

Selling a rental property does not give the landlord the right to evict their tenants. Depending on the situation they must serve either a Section 8 or Section 21 Notice. This can be quite a lengthy process so you will need to take this into consideration when communicating any timeframes to potential buyers.

“A landlord can still put their property on the market whilst tenants reside in it. There are however restrictions surrounding viewings. You can only show round buyers if you included this as a clause in the original tenancy agreement.

“If you have then you must give tenants at least 24 hours notice of any viewing. They do have the right to decline if it is inconvenient. They are also under no obligation to tidy up!

“Should you agree a sale before the tenants have vacated you have two options - the buyer can become the new landlord but they must comply with the original tenancy agreement. Alternatively you can delay completion until the tenants have left.”

Rob also has some advice for any accidental landlords coming into the market for the first time:

“Many new landlords massively underestimate the work involved in letting property, particularly the laws landlords must follow.

“GW LET offers specialist help and advice for landlords on a wide range of issues including everything you need to do before tenants move in as well as resolving common landlord problems such as rent arrears, deposit disputes and disrepair issues.”

Content correct at time of publication

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