So you’ve just been offered your dream job overseas, and you can’t wait to get started. But there’s something big you need to consider. What will you do with your home?
Renting out your property while working abroad
The obvious answer is to rent your home out. That way it’s continuing to pay for itself and hopefully bringing in a little income while you are gone. There are a few things to decide, though, and that may well depend on how long you will be working abroad for.
When you’re likely to be gone for a few months, you might decide to put your home on a holiday website such as Airbnb or Travelnest. That gives you flexibility in how long you allow other people to stay in your home, from weekend breaks to month-long rentals.
Travelling abroad on a long-term basis.
If you plan to be much longer, choosing to let your property to tenants on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement can be a simpler choice, with rental agreements commonly running from 6 months to years.
You will need to read up on the regulations or ask a professional agency to assist you. Becoming a landlord has a lot of legislation that you need to understand, including:
- Amending your mortgage to a Buy To Let mortgage.
- Ensuring your property is fit to rent out, with the appropriate Gas Safety certificate, Energy Performance Certificate and Electrical certificate.
- Adding carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms as required.
- PAT testing any electrical equipment.
- Performing appropriate checks on prospective tenants including referencing and identity checks.
- Joining a Deposit Protection Scheme.
Letting your property furnished or unfurnished
When your home is a holiday let, your guests will expect the home comforts to be in place, such as beds, sofas and tables, a wardrobe to hang their holiday clothes in and a kitchen equipped with the basics; cutlery, fridges and a microwave.
However, your home is likely to be filled with personal items from your life that you won’t be taking abroad. Will you leave these out for your guests’ use, and run the risk of them becoming damaged or lost?
If you’re letting your property as a landlord, your choice is a lot simpler. You might choose to rent your property as furnished, but even so, that includes furniture and, possibly, white goods such as fridges, washing machines and dishwashers. It does not include your small items, so you will need to pack away everything you own, from pictures on the walls, clothing and ornaments, to saucepans, plates and books.
An unfurnished property is exactly that; empty. In many ways, this is the simpler option, as you don’t have to arrange PAT testing for every electrical item your tenant may use, and you don’t risk any damage to anything you own.
Storing your belongings for safekeeping
Now you need store your items. While a friend or family member may be able to accommodate a box or two, anything more will be using space that most people don’t have spare. Using a self-storage unit is a simple and cost-effective storage solution – and it offers you peace of mind. Our indoor storage option has state of the art security and, being indoors, your belongings are kept safe from damp and rodents.
Storing the contents of an entire house may sound daunting. However, you might be surprised how little space it actually takes when boxed and stored properly. Beds, tables and other large furniture can usually be taken apart and stored as ‘flat pack’, clothes folded, books and ornaments packed away into boxes, and there will always be items that can be donated, sold or thrown away.
When you come and speak with us about our storage options, we can also advise you on the best way to stack your items. If there is one thing that many people forget, you always end up with plenty of room at the top. Carefully packed, a storage unit can be filled from floor to ceiling, with the heaviest items at the bottom.
As a guideline – the contents of an average one-bed apartment would fit into around 50 sq. ft. – or a 5×10 unit, while contents of an average two-bedroom home would need 100 sq. ft. of storage, or 10×10 unit.
Thinking about unit sizes can be confusing, but it’s something we do every day. Just give us a call on 0121 250 5055 or email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to advise you on how much space to rent, and our flexible contract terms. With locations in both Stratford upon Avon and Sutton Coldfield, Cookes has the perfect storage solution for you.