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Letting your empty home

Would you like to be a landlord and rent out your empty home?

You’ll need to make sure that your empty home meets certain housing standards. Remember that as a landlord you are running a business. You’ll need money for maintenance and repair of the home. One benefit of being the landlord yourself is that you are in control and do not have to pay any rent to an agent. If you are not sure what rent to charge you can check the average rent for a similar type of property in a similar location. One way to do this is to ask local letting agents.

To find a tenant you could advertise in a local paper, in a shop or online. However you will need to carry out proper checks on potential tenants and get a tenancy agreement drawn up. If you do not choose your tenant carefully, it could end up costing you a lot of money. You are responsible if something goes wrong. 

There is a lot of helpful information for landlords on the internet, and the following may help start your research:

North West Landlords Association (NWLA)

Residential Landlords Association (RLA)

National Landlords Association (NLA)

NICEIC Electrical contractors an independent body for electrical installation matters 

Gas safe register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances

Federation of Master builders (FMB)

National Federation of Builders (NFB)

British Property Federation (BPF)

Tenancy deposit protection

If you rent your empty property on an assured shorthold tenancy you have to place your tenant’s deposit in a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. You need to put the deposit in the scheme within 30 days of getting it.

Would you like someone else to be the Landlord?  

You can use a letting agent to rent out your empty home for you. But they will charge you a fee for doing this. Letting agents offer different services. Here are some things they can do for you:

  • find a tenant
  • check tenant references
  • look after tenancy agreements 
  • collect rent for you
  • full management of the property

Bear in mind that if you choose full management it can cost you about 15%. It’s a good idea for you to do your research carefully to find a good letting agent. The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) or the National Approved Letting (NALS) can help you decide.

Empty Homes Grants

We can help empty home owners with a grant to repair their properties and rent out the home to people in priority housing need. Owners don’t need to worry about doing the repairs or being a landlord. Instead our partners South Lakes Housing will work out what repairs need to be done and they will make sure they get them done to a good standard. Once they’ve found a tenant on the housing list who really needs a home, they will act as the landlord.

This is a great solution for owners who can’t afford to pay for all the repairs on their empty home. It’s also a great way to get regular rent but not have to be a landlord. 

We’re mostly looking for one, two and three bed homes in towns like Kendal, Ulverston and Windermere. This is because most people need to live and work in these places.

The Social Lettings Scheme, a guaranteed rent for owners

Our Housing Options team run the social lettings scheme. You can contact them on 01539 793199 for more information. They set up the scheme to help meet the needs of homeless people presenting to the Housing Options Service.

This scheme guarantees a rent to the landlord (regardless of void periods or rent arrears). It benefits owners who have no time to get involved in the day-to-day issues of letting a property. 

A landlord’s contract is with us to rent the property. We sublet and manage the property and the tenant. The landlord is still responsible for repairs and maintenance but we’re responsible for damage caused by the tenant. We’re also responsible for handing the property back in good condition at the end of the scheme.

Rents are usually a bit less than the local housing allowance for the size of property. You would get less rent than with a letting agent but the benefit is this rent is guaranteed and we provide a professional management service to property owners.

Your empty home needs to be in good condition. You need to show proof that you have the authority to let the property. You also need up to date gas safety and energy performance certificates.