How many Brits are living abroad is up for debate depending on which source you listen to. But one thing we do know for sure is that there are a lot of expats living right the way across the globe.
For working people, you may be lured away by an exciting new opportunity whereas for those of you at the end of your career, the desire to up sticks may be driven by the want for a change of pace and lifestyle in retirement.
Whatever the reason, you global adventurers often choose to keep a foothold in the UK property market – whether that’s renting out their former UK residence or purchasing a property to let. But, if you’re thinking of becoming an expat landlord there are a number of things you must consider:
The right mortgage
If you plan to move abroad and rent out your former home in the UK, it’s essential that you speak to your existing mortgage adviser and check if this is allowed under the conditions of your mortgage.
Your lender may specify a time limit for your return if you wish to retain your current mortgage, apply additional fees, a higher interest rate or request that you convert the mortgage to a consumer or regulated buy-to-let mortgage product. Landlords who are already abroad and want to buy additional property will need to look for an expat buy-to-let mortgage from the outset.
Although there is no legal requirement for landlords to take out insurance, your lender may require you to take out specialist insurance before you can let out your property. Make sure to speak with your mortgage adviser for further advice.
Managing your property
Dealing with tenants and maintenance issues can be a time-consuming and stressful process, let alone trying to deal with these problems from another continent in a different time zone. This is why it is important to ask yourself whether you’d be in a position to manage your property from abroad or would it be easier to use the services of a suitably qualified lettings agent?
Currency and foreign exchange
For you potential expat landlords you’ll need to consider foreign exchange rates and the potential risk of those rates changing if you plan to use the rental income to cover your living expenses. Rent will be paid into a UK bank in pounds sterling so it has the potential to be impacted by foreign exchange rates.
During 2018, for example, landlords who converted pounds to US dollars at the lowest point suffered a 12% reduction in spending power compared to those who converted at the annual high.
While this is just a brief overview of some of the things you might need to consider there are a number of other things to think about too. This is why seeking professional advice before becoming an expat landlord is important.
If you’re thinking about joining the many brits abroad and becoming an expat landlord contact one of our advisers today.