Impact of Rental Flats on Whole Block of Flats or a Third Party and the Tenant. A guide from Assetsure.
In any building, divided in to flats, it is highly unusual if all the flats are owner occupied. In blocks that have been established for a while, some of the flats may have been acquired for investment purposes, but in the main, some of the flats become tenanted because of a change in circumstance. In smaller blocks particularly, owner occupiers are a lot more sensitive to flats that are rented and often show a great deal of interest in who exactly will be sharing their building. You may there is resistance to renting, and paying attention to the other owners concerns can hope to keep friction to a minimum.
The situation in brand new blocks though is slightly different, these are often touted by developers as investment properties and the ratio of renters to owner occupiers tends to be higher. These new build flats are often acquired ‘off plan’ by investors who have purchased them specifically as buy to lets. Alas, this can have a detrimental effect on the block, as buildings with high proportions of flats that are let, do seem to experience more problems with up keep. One of the main problems is that when the block is completed, all the flats come on to the market at the same time, in times of an economic downturn, it may not prove that easy to obtain a suitable tenant. Renting a flat in a block can have an impact of the your fellow leaseholders and there are a number of factors to consider.
Firstly, care should be taken in the selection of the tenant, you can of course do this your self or you can employ the services of a letting agent. If you are intending to do it yourself, at least meet with the tenant and ask for references, on the surface most people will appear pleasant and reasonable and if they do fall in too this category, then they wont mind producing a reference. As mentioned, tenanted flats can cause a good deal of friction with fellow flat owners and in the event that your tenant does turn out to be disruptive, at least by taking references you can prove that you did try to find a decent occupier. As well as a reference, you will have to make sure that your tenant is furnished with a tenancy agreement and that you can comply with all the rules and regulations relating to letting. This is often overlooked by person renting their flat, that has not been acquired as an investment, the rules still apply.
Another consideration which is often over looked, is informing the flats insurancecompany that the property has become tenanted. The block policy may already be adequate but you should still seek conformation that renting is allowed and that the liability section of the building policy is adequate for this. You may find that the insurers have a different attitude to different types of tenant, be prepared to be asked for information regarding the tenants occupational status and details of whether the contract for letting is between yourself and the tenant