Rentcation – the new way to fund a longer getaway

Silver Traveller Mark Haworth explains how you can embrace a new way lifestyle in later life with a ‘rentcation’.

Do you fancy swapping the Great British weather for some sunshine in the dark winter months? Have you got the freedom to live (and perhaps work) from anywhere? Do you have flexible commitments? Kids flown the nest? Above all, have you got the patience to pack up all your belongings and unpack them again in a few months’ time. If so, then here is an interesting idea…

It’s not rocket science, but it is a change of mindset. Rent out your fully furnished home here in the UK and use the rental income on living or travelling abroad. You may choose to stay in one place and enjoy a villa overlooking the ocean, or take a trip of a lifetime hopping from place to place. The freedom and flexibility is yours for the taking.

How to get started

Firstly, and most importantly, do your research. See what similar homes to yours are renting for on the BnB portals and check their typical availability. Have a chat with your local estate agents and ask their opinion for short term rental demand in your area. You will be amazed at how many people need a place to stay for a few months. And it’s not just for holidays, there are people who are between buying and selling a house or having renovations. Often insurance companies need to house customers whilst repairs are done, or there may be companies looking to accommodate new staff.

In our experience we have had a film director, a couple whose new kitchen got delayed, a family relocating from Dubai, a family waiting for their new house to complete and many more. The agents will value your home for short term rental income, work out the fees, and market your home on the main online rental portals.

How secure is it?

After all, it is your home with all your furniture and fittings. You need to be comfortable and don’t want to worry whilst you are away. Your local estate agent will charge a fee to find, check and validate your short term tenant. A professional inventory and condition report at the start and end of the rental puts everyone’s mind at rest. There is always a decent deposit paid and the rent, (including allowances for bills), is usually paid in advance. A legally signed short term tenancy agreement, states the term and amount of rent to be paid. If you plan to use AirBnB it offers guest identification, reservation screening and £3 million damage protection.

The legal bits and tax

This is not an exhaustive list, but you will need to spend some time and money to get your home ready for renting.

  • A report on your electrics, (EICR) needs to be signed off by a qualified electrician. They are valid for five years
  • An EPC report shows the thermal efficiency of your home and is valid for ten years
  • A gas safety test completed by a gas engineer is valid for a year
  • Fit smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if you haven’t got them already
  • Your estate agent will create the tenancy agreements and arrange deposit protection
  • Get some quotes for rental insurance cover for your house and contents
  • Check your mortgage as some providers may require permission

Every household gets £7,500 a year tax allowances for renting out your home. It’s worth speaking to your accountant to check your own personal tax position.

All the bills for rates, water, gas and electric stay in your name which makes it very easy to move back in. The rent is increased to allow for these bills and can be capped to make it cost effective.

How to set up your home as a short term rental

It’s a great opportunity to fix all those niggly little problems with your house. Fix that squeaky door and broken fan. Get a plumber to check your heating and pipes. You don’t want to try and fix the boiler when you are halfway up Kilimanjaro. Make a useful list of tradespeople you use such as plumbers, electricians, gardeners, cleaners and handypeople. You can pay your estate agent to manage the property whilst you are away or if you are confident with the reliability of your home, save money and manage it remotely, yourself.

You will be amazed how energising it is to pack up your personal belongings. It’s also a great opportunity to get rid of all those belongings that you haven’t used for many years. Marie Kondo can be an inspiration! Remember that all your furniture, crockery and carpets will stay in the house. The heavy lifting is avoided.

Buy 65 litre clear plastic storage boxes with lids and a roll of bin liners. Start in the least used bedroom and slowly work your way through your belongings. It’s a bit of a mindset change but you can be ruthless. If this concept works for you, the last thing you want to be doing is packing and repacking items that are rarely used. Pack all sentimental and personal things away, safe and sound. The plastic boxes are airtight and help keep mould and bugs away. Leave the pots, pans and crockery. Leave curtains, books, and soft furnishings. Make the beds up and pop a set of towels in the airing cupboard. If you are expecting young children to stay, then pack away any fragile or low level items. Store all the boxes in a locked spare room, a garage, cellar or your local storage warehouse.

Where to take off to

Once you have prepared your property and have tenants arranged, then it’s time to pack your bags and head for the sun. But where to go? Well that’s the fun part – the possibilities are endless.

Silver Travel Advisor are on hand to help you plan your time away. Whether you want to set up base in a comfortable villa in Europe, or plan an adventure exploring Australia and New Zealand in a camper van. Perhaps a world cruise appeals to you, or several back to back cruises. We can make your long term travel dreams a reality.

Speak to an advisor today to start planning your rentcation! Call 0800 412 4568.

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