We’ve managed to rent out our house and the whole process has proved surprisingly painless. First we had the beauty parade of letting agents. We had four come to view the house and the sales spiel is pretty similar. We needed to arrange/think about:
- getting an Energy Performance Certificate – a certificate you legally have to have in place to show would-be tenants how energy efficient your house is. Costs vary but are usually under £50 for the assessment;
- Consent to rent from your lender;
- What letting services we wanted from the agency – just find us tenants or provide the full management package when we are away;
- Whether we rented the house out furnished or unfurnished;
- Would we accept pets.
Turns out even the fees are virtually the same. Despite the % figure quoted in their sales bumph, when meeting us on the first visit, they all offered us a special discounted rate of 10%+ VAT of the rental income for the full management package which is what we wanted. The last thing we want to be dealing with while trekking through the Picos de Europa is a call from an irate tenant over a leaky loo.
So after all the sales pitches we didn’t go for the agent who had an interesting take on customer care.’Best not to call too often to check the house – it just encourages the tenants to find problems.’ Nor did we go for the one whose agency featured in some blistering criticism on tenant websites. That left a choice of two and what swung it was the confident pitch that made us believe they already had potential tenants lining up.
Turns out they did. After only two days of viewings, we had our tenants. Seems they are two related couples with small children and a labrador. Best of all, they want the house furnished option (subject to some pieces they didn’t want). Being able to leave most of the furniture means a big saving in storage costs for us and also requires a hefty deposit from them in case Rover takes too keen an interest in the furniture. Even the timing has worked out as the agents had warned us that some would-be tenants might want the house only if they could be in situ for the start of the school term in early September. That would have left us homeless for a few weeks before our departure. Our tenants want to move in on 30 September so about the time their removal van is pulling into our road, with a fair wind we should be trundling along the north coast of Spain.