Moving in together: should you sell or let the other property?

October 22, 2019Categories: Selling, LandlordsTags: letting, selling
Couple walking hand in hand

If you’re moving in with your partner and you both own a property, you may be trying to decide whether to sell up or hang on to yours.

If you sell the property

If you’ve been living in the property on your own, chances are it’s appropriate for a first-time buyer and there’s no shortage of those in most areas, meaning you may be able to agree a sale fairly quickly. Visit your local Your Move branch and one of the sales team will be able to give you an up-to-date market appraisal.

Selling means you can release the equity that’s currently tied up in the property to either spend or reinvest. And because you’ve lived in it as your primary residence, there shouldn’t be any capital gains to pay on any increase in value since you bought it.

If you let the property

Keeping hold of your property and letting it out can give you a source of ongoing income and/or a longer-term lump sum of cash in the future. But before making any final decision, it’s a good idea to speak to a financial adviser and property tax specialist to talk through your options.

The reality is that no matter how positive you feel about a relationship today, things can change – sometimes very quickly. While there is currently proposed legislation to abolish ‘no fault’ evictions in England, one of the grounds for being able to regain possession of your property will be if you need to move back into the property yourself – as is already the case in Scotland. So, if you wanted or needed to move back to your former home, you could do that in a couple of months, depending on how long the tenant has taken an agreement out for and subject to you giving the tenant the correct amount of notice.

Three important things to remember if you decide to let your property:

  1. If the property is mortgaged, you’ll need to contact your lender to change from a residential to a buy-to-let mortgage, otherwise you will be committing mortgage fraud. Our partner brokers at Embrace Financial Services can answer any questions you might have

  2. You’ll need specialist landlord insurance.  Rented properties are considered higher risk than owner-occupied ones so you will have to change from your existing home buildings and contents insurance product to make sure you’re properly covered. Speak to one of our advisers for more information and a no-obligation quotation
     
  3. You MUST ensure the property meets all the requirements to be legally let. There is a lot to know, including:

    - Having a gas safety check and obtaining a certificate
    - Making electrical safety checks
    - Meeting fire safety requirements
    - Ensuring the property is free from all 29 hazards as per the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

There are also a number of regulations you need to follow in securing a tenant, such as making Right to Rent checks and protecting their deposit in a government-approved scheme.

If you need help working out whether to sell or let a property, do get in touch with your local Your Move branch and one of the team will be happy to discuss your situation in detail.