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Proposed long-term let out of season

 
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Jason



Joined: 16 Mar 2018
Posts: 6
Location: West Somerset

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:47 pm    Post subject: Proposed long-term let out of season Reply with quote

Could I call on the collective wisdom of you splendid people to share your observations on what sounds like a very handy proposal – namely a long-term let, out of season? Possibly 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021, but in any case on a rolling monthly rental basis.

The prospective guests sound genuine enough. They say they are selling their house and are looking for somewhere to stay for the winter, with a view to house-hunting in the new year: 'So we are selling our house in fitzhead and want a furnished winter let in the area so that we can look for a permanent home in the spring.'

This sounds like a splendid opportunity, which immediately puts me on my guard. Has anyone any previous experience of anything similar, which was either genuine or a scam of some sort?

Or has anyone heard of similar?

Just because I can't spot the catch doesn't mean there isn't one!

Many thanks in anticipation.
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J B



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 91
Location: We live in England and have rental properties in N Wales and Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We did it a few times with a previous place.
One was house mover, like you. One a caravan owner who had to move out for the closed season. One a gang of builders working in the area.
All worked out reasonably well, if you can sort out the utilities.

Smile
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J B
www.jamesbourne.co.uk
http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/tala/199631
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4036_ST
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4037_ST
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Jason



Joined: 16 Mar 2018
Posts: 6
Location: West Somerset

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks JB, really appreciate it. As I said, they sound genuine, but it's reassuring that somebody else has done it and it worked out well.

Now I just need to work out a price – I've never done anything like this, may I ask how you approached the pricing structure on a per-month basis?
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1180
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may be a bit more complicated.

Are you currently on business rates? If so, that would have to change. (Would your local authority then even want to approve the return of a property to a holiday let when you had allowed it to be returned to residential property?)

How will this affect your qualification for the number of nights available / let When you complete your tax return?

You will be switching from a holiday let to being a landlord of their main residence.

You will need a proper letting agreement. What about the deposit which needs to go into a protected scheme these days?
Even then, they will have legal rights that a holiday guest does not. The significant different to above examples is that your holiday let will become their only residence.

They could decide not to pay rent once they are in situ and you would need to go through the courts to evict them, which is expensive.
Also the government are under pressure to extend the no eviction period brought in at the beginning of Covid.

If they are genuine, why do they want a furnished let? Where is their own furniture? In storage? When an unfurnished let would save them money. Why are they not just going down the route of an unfurnished let via an estate agent?

If they are only going to start to house hunt then it will take months to complete even if they find somewhere tomorrow. If you want them to vacate before this time, they may decide to sit it out and not go.

Think about who will pay bills and the wear and tear and subsequent cleaning when someone has lived in your property continuously.

If you do decide to go ahead, then use an agent who really knows the law and who is proactive. You will need to pay for detailed inventories to be drawn up as well. Have you thought about what references you need? As a landlord you are even responsible for verifying a tenants right to reside in this country.

As someone who was in the National Landlords Association for twenty years and only let to working tenants, I can promise you that prospective tenants do all seem very genuine......but that doesn’t mean that they are.
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Jason



Joined: 16 Mar 2018
Posts: 6
Location: West Somerset

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crikey, pretty much all of that hadn't occurred to me – thank you zebedee. This is a good deal more complex than I imagined, you have given me much to think about.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1180
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go and interview some local estate agents who do lettings. Preferably experienced smaller companies. It won’t look good for their reputation if they sign you up with troublesome tenants and it will lose them business.

They won’t be entirely unbiased because they will take around a months rent from you, plus fees for the inventory and deposit scheme. However, they can ask the prospective tenants questions you feel you cannot, Check out references and basically know what they are doing. If you chose the right one, their gut instincts and ability to assess tenants will be of great value to you. You might want to offer a different contract with them so that you pay them something even if you decide not to take the tenants. That way the agent is more likely to be candid with you.

The prospective tenants may be entirely innocent and not know themselves the challenges it poses for you.

Can’t help with your other decisions though, so good luck. Your property looks beautiful and I hope it works out for you.
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Jason



Joined: 16 Mar 2018
Posts: 6
Location: West Somerset

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your sage advice, I really appreciate it and it has helped me enormously. Thank you also for your kind words about the property!
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J B



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 91
Location: We live in England and have rental properties in N Wales and Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:
It may be a bit more complicated.

Are you currently on business rates? If so, that would have to change..................

Unless of course, you only rented it out for 29 days at a time ... Wink Wink Wink
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J B
www.jamesbourne.co.uk
http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/tala/199631
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4036_ST
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4037_ST
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J B



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 91
Location: We live in England and have rental properties in N Wales and Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason wrote:
may I ask how you approached the pricing structure on a per-month basis?


Hmm, it was a while ago, but maybe half the holiday rate perhaps Question
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J B
www.jamesbourne.co.uk
http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/tala/199631
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4036_ST
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4037_ST
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1799
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

J B wrote:
Jason wrote:
may I ask how you approached the pricing structure on a per-month basis?


Hmm, it was a while ago, but maybe half the holiday rate perhaps Question


You must have a gap between the 29 days when they move out completely - so you can show that they are not in continuous occupation.

if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck ... the courts may decide that actually it is a tenancy and you are deliberately trying to get around the law.

Guests who are aware of the problem usually book 29 days in one cottage, move to another cottage for 29 days and then move back again.
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Tomsk



Joined: 24 Jul 2020
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:41 pm    Post subject: Wouldn't be for me Reply with quote

For me, the whole point of FHL is that it is not a BTL residential landlord situation, - precisely because of the reasons mentioned.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1477
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newtimber wrote:
...if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck ... the courts may decide that actually it is a tenancy and you are deliberately trying to get around the law.

Yes, absolutely so (IMO).
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ianh100



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 583
Location: Sherborne Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have done this a few times but typically only for a couple of months. As far as I read it you can do longer lets as long as you meet the availability criteria for FHL, this means no more than 155 days as a longer term rental.

I would assume if you are still meeting the FHL requirements you can still be on business rates but as I say we have not taken a booking for the length you are considering. Do tell your insurance company, it may not cost more but you must tell them.

I do find that wear and tear is more as people move in loads more of their own gear and the property is not being cleaned weekly. We had a bit of a nightmare last winter from an 8 week booking. They must have never opened any windows and had lots of wet clothes drying or something (young family). There was a lot of damage from damp and mould which we have never had in the past.
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