Who to notify when becoming a landlord

Posted: 4th Jun 2014

In the United Kingdom many businesses are comparatively lightly regulated and you may not need much in the way of formal permission before commencing activities.

There may be some exceptions though and depending upon your interpretation, becoming a landlord may be one such.

Here is a brief summary of some of the parties you may need to notify before you can start to let out your property.

Your mortgage provider

If you are planning to let property that you have previously occupied as your own home and it still has an owner occupier mortgage on it, the conditions of the loan may oblige you to discuss your plans for change of use, in advance, with the mortgage provider.

Of course, if you have a specific buy to let mortgage on the property that may not be necessary.

Any co-owner

If you plan to start letting out property that has not been let previously and is not solely owned by you, you should seek the written permission of any other co-owners of the property concerned.

Your insurance provider

A property that has previously been occupied by the owner is likely to have owner occupier buildings and contents insurance in place.

That will typically not be valid once you start to let the property out and you may need to change to landlords insurance to maintain cover. We will gladly provide further assistance in helping you to understand this area.

The freehold owner

This is one that is sometimes overlooked with potentially serious consequences.

If you are the owner of the leasehold, then you may need the freehold owner’s permission in writing before you start letting the property out.

The local council and other authorities

In some circumstances, you may need the permission of the local authorities which may involve some form of registration, before you start letting out a property to certain types of tenants.

Examples might include tenants classed as vulnerable individuals or the elderly.

Remember that the laws in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may differ in these respects.

Various service providers

Some supply contracts for things such as gas and electricity may specifically exclude you assigning them to tenants.

It might be worth discussing this with the companies concerned, in advance.

Neighbours

Although there may be no precise contractual or legal requirement to do so, if you are planning to start letting out a property for the first time, it might be prudent to consult the immediate neighbours in advance.

Although their legal permission may not be required, objections and subsequent legal actions may prove to be expensive and distracting for you – particularly if you lose and are forced to change your business direction as a result.