Written by: Danny Belton - Head of Lending

However, emotions can cloud judgement when renting property to family members. Here's a guide to approaching this scenario with a business mindset while maintaining family harmony.

Check your mortgage agreement

Standard mortgages usually prohibit renting to your family. If you’re unsure, contact your adviser – you will more than likely need a specific buy-to-let mortgage for renting to relatives.

Draft a tenancy agreement

Having a formal tenancy agreement protects both parties, as it outlines rent amount, notice periods, tenant responsibilities (e.g., repairs), and your obligations as a landlord (e.g., gas safety checks). While it may seem like you should be able to trust a family member to treat your rental property with respect, it is still necessary to get this in writing - just in case they don’t.

Set market rent

Although it’s tempting, make sure you don't undercharge your family for rent. Instead, research similar rental properties to determine a fair market rate. This ensures you get a good return on your investment and avoids accusations of favouritism from other family members.

Be clear on communication

Establish clear communication channels early on in the renting process. No one likes an inattentive landlord. Make sure to respond promptly to maintenance requests, and clearly outline your expectations regarding rent payments and rental property upkeep.

Consider potential issues

When you're renting property to family members or friends, you need to anticipate potential problems. What happens if rent payments become late? What’s the process if your property sustains damage? Having a predetermined course of action minimises conflict and resolves issues quickly.

What happens to the property if you pass away?

It’s important to consider what would happen to the property, and the person you are letting to, if anything happened to you. Would they still be able to rent the property? Would the property need to be sold? It's always a wise move to update your will when you have an investment property, and especially when family and friends are involved.

Seek professional advice

When renting property to family members or friends, complexities can often spring up, particularly regarding tax implications. Consulting a solicitor and mortgage adviser familiar with buy-to-let ensures you comply with regulations. While emotions play a role, approach the situation with a business-like attitude. This protects your investment and avoids misunderstandings that could strain family relationships.

By following these steps, you can navigate the potential pitfalls of renting to family and ensure a successful buy-to-let arrangement that benefits both you and your loved ones.

Important information

There is no guarantee that it will be possible to arrange continuous letting of the property, nor that rental income will be sufficient to meet the cost of the mortgage.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

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