By Iain Yule
If you own a property in the UK, do you intend to leave it empty, or are you going to rent it out? Leaving it empty affects your mortgage, home insurance and council tax.
There are three things you must do:
Contact your mortgage lender:
Let them know you are going abroad and leaving the property empty, and make sure they are satisfied with this. You need your lender’s permission to rent out your property.
Contact your local authority:
Leaving an empty property may affect the way you are assessed for council tax.
Contact your home insurer:
Find out if you are in breach of the terms of the policy. It may be that you have to arrange for someone to visit your property regularly and check on it. Or you may need a specialist insurer to cover the property if it is being left vacant.
If you let out your property you will be taxed. The UK taxman will want you to pay tax on any UK-source income, and has ways of levying it. If you use an agency to rent out and manage the property for you they will deduct income tax at source from the rental and pass it on directly to the taxman.
See the Expat Landlord article in the Property & Mortgages section of this website.
You will also need to have insurance for your foreign property. Bellwood Prestbury insurance brokers researched the cost of cover through Hiscox Insurance. Monthly premiums to cover house and contents work out at £28.42, based on building value of £100,000, contents of £15,000, other liabilities covered up to £2 million, and emergency travel cover of £1,000. If no contents cover is required, monthly premium is £24.75.