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Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Old Oct 18th 2010, 6:22 pm
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Default Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

I haven't been on here for quite a while. We're trying to sell the house with no luck, things aren't great. We have PR and activated our visa last July so only have till next July to return or we have to re-apply. Tomorrow we change to another estate agent (lost count now of how many we have been with) and are hoping they can sell our house, if not we will have to consider renting it out. Are there many of you who are renting out a property in the UK whilst living in NZ? How are you getting on? Is it as stressful as I think it will be - being a landlord so far away? Would really appreciate your thoughts.

Gay x
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Old Oct 18th 2010, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

we are renting out our houses in the UK whilst we are here. i would say the only way to do it is to employ and agent, (or if you have a family member who lives near to the property who could oversee things.) the guy we use is a small independant, and does a great job, charging us 10% comission. well worth it as he quickly found new tenants, when the last ones moved out. he advertises, checks out references, sets up regular payments from the tenants, and to us, and sorts out any maintenace when needed.

the only problem we will have is when we want to sell the properties. it will be hard to organise all that from the other side of the world. but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. as of now- that rent income pays for the rental we have here in NZ. so we're not out of pocket, and we still have our homes back in the UK, should the need arise in the future.

we dont find it particulary stressful, as its all done for us. but you just have to trust the agent not to rip you off. we only have his word for it what things have cost etc..

Last edited by MattandJax; Oct 18th 2010 at 8:44 pm.
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Old Oct 18th 2010, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Our daughter had not sold their house when they left 4 years ago and gave me Power of Attorney for her and my son in laws sister for him. It was empty for a couple of months and then they rented it out privately. An agreement was set up where by it was on a month to month basis so that if a buyer came along (it was still up for sale) there would not be a problem. We used to go up about every 2 weeks to see if there was any mail (usually rubbish) and were always asked would we like to inspect but we could see it was no necessary. It sold about 9 months later with no problems at all with the turnover. We got a cheque for the money which we deposited into my son in laws TSB account that he had left open in the UK. When the time was right he transferred it to NZ which was a good rate of exchange at the time $2.80.

On the other hand my son lived and worked in Paris for a time he rented his out through an agent who supposedly vetted the people and they almost wrecked the joint. He had stipulated no dogs which he found out they had had so obviously there had been no inspections either. There was over £2000 worth of damage, they had done a bunk, he started getting debt collecting letters (by this time he had started opening any mail addressed to them). He managed to find out where they had gone and took them to court. He won the case and he was awarded £150 to cover the damage because the judge said it was not a case of new for old as in insurance he had to take in depreciation as well.

So it was new carpets, doors, kitchen doors etc.

One thing though they had kept the garden lovely.

So my advice to you is be very very careful.

June
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Old Oct 18th 2010, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Originally Posted by Gail5 View Post
We're trying to sell the house with no luck, things aren't great. We have PR and activated our visa last July so only have till next July to return or we have to re-apply.
This makes me so mad...NZ Migration PLC ripping off would-be quality migrants many times over...even 'forcing them' to come over without selling up in UK.
Even though I have rented out my UK house for the last 7 years, I don't think it's wise unless you have deep pockets, because you will have rent in NZ and mortgage in UK and you may have periods without a tenant in UK. Bear in mind exchange rate as well if you have to convert dollars to pounds to pay mortgage.
Also tenants don't usually want to rent a property which is on the market. Why would they?

I think it is ok to do it in a more buoyant housing market if you are wanting to test NZ out before you sell up and 'burn your boats' but that is different because in that situation at some point you end the 6m/12m tenancy and put it on the market and sell within a reasonable timescale.

I don't know anyone in my position(long-term expat eventually going back to UK) who hasn't had problems with at least one tenant. In 7 years I have had 3, had to evict 1(cost a lot, plus had to redecorate) and one is still going strong but I have had to reduce their rent to keep them as the Council tax went up so much that they gave notice and found a cheaper smaller property.
The Managing Agent (who is only partially on your side - but they are ESSENTIAL at this distance) was going to let them go without negotiating lol. It would have cost me much more grief to lose them and have to pay the new tenant fees etc etc so I stepped in and instructed the Managing Agent to offer a rent reduction. They get less commission from a lower rent so are less likely to do this negotiation unless you tell them to.

It also worked in my favour as the tenant wanted to lock in at the new lower rent and asked to go back to 12m fixed instead of 1m notice which they had originally requested (because they wanted to leave).
I dislike Managing Agents in equal measure whether as a tenant or as a landlord and bet I am not alone in that but we do need them. For instance the solicitor they advised me to instruct re the eviction was very good and easy to deal with even at this distance. All I had to do was pay his bill.

I think it's a bit much to expect your relatives to take on this role because it often does go badly wrong.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Originally Posted by MattandJax View Post
we are renting out our houses in the UK whilst we are here. i would say the only way to do it is to employ and agent, (or if you have a family member who lives near to the property who could oversee things.) the guy we use is a small independant, and does a great job, charging us 10% comission. well worth it as he quickly found new tenants, when the last ones moved out. he advertises, checks out references, sets up regular payments from the tenants, and to us, and sorts out any maintenace when needed.
Same for us. We are renting out our property in the UK through a letting agent and have done for the last year. They handle everything to do with getting and paying us the rent and also carry out periodic inspections and arrange things like the Gas Safety certificate which needs doing every year (although we obviously pay for that!).

The rent our tenant pays covers our UK mortgage with a bit to spare which we put towards overpayments on the mortgage in an attempt to be mortgage free quicker!

So far, so good. It is a lot to do with the tenant you get. Ours is very clean and tidy and was on a 6 month contract but is now just going a month at a time just in case either of us want to get out quick.

If you do move across make sure you register as a non-resident landlord so you get paid the rent without tax being taken off it! (letting agent should be able to advise you on this). Also make sure you claim any tax refunds when you leave the UK and check to see if you qualify for the 4 year tax excemption for new migrants in NZ.

Good luck
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 8:33 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Originally Posted by Jo-Chris View Post
If you do move across make sure you register as a non-resident landlord so you get paid the rent without tax being taken off it! (letting agent should be able to advise you on this). Also make sure you claim any tax refunds when you leave the UK and check to see if you qualify for the 4 year tax excemption for new migrants in NZ.

Good luck
Because our daughters was a private letting we made enquiries at the Tax Office and were told that if they did not pay the tax here they would be liable for it in NZ. That's worth checking as well. They would have your blood if they could get at it.

June

Last edited by Margaret Parkinson; Oct 19th 2010 at 8:36 am.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Originally Posted by Margaret Parkinson View Post
Because our daughters was a private letting we made enquiries at the Tax Office and were told that if they did not pay the tax here they would be liable for it in NZ. That's worth checking as well. They would have your blood if they could get at it.

June
Unless you rent out at a very high rent in UK, there isn't much of a tax liability in UK since often most of the rental profit will fall within your personal allowances especially after allowable deductions.
The NZ tax authorities are much more of a pain since after the 4 year exemption they tax you on your worldwide income.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

The even tax kids in New Zealand. My grandson got a Saturday job while still at school and had to pay tax.

June
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 4:51 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Originally Posted by Margaret Parkinson View Post
The even tax kids in New Zealand. My grandson got a Saturday job while still at school and had to pay tax.

June
yes but they can put in for a tax rebate
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 7:21 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Get an agent - they are mostly useless but it's very difficult to manage from afar otherwise.

Be prepared to end up spending around 10% on wear & tear - tenants don't look after the place like you do and boilers fail or guttering needs replacing or carpets wear out etc.

NRL1 form required (on top of P85).

Gas safety cert and energy effy cert.

Discuss with mortgage lender.

Get lettings insurance to cover having tenants.

UK tax to pay if profit (after agents fees, mortgage interest, insurance, etc etc) is above your (circa) GBP7K limit.
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 7:28 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Originally Posted by helinuk View Post
yes but they can put in for a tax rebate
yes thats right and get tax back in my tax year bi worked three months before end of tax year got $300 back when we came back got i think it was $1,000 paid into my nz account, so in the end never paid any
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 8:33 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
This makes me so mad...NZ Migration PLC ripping off would-be quality migrants many times over...even 'forcing them' to come over without selling up in UK.
I don't think that's a very fair comment. Immigration costs lots and lots and lots no matter where you want to live in the western world. We have spent thousands of pounds on UK immigration fees for my husband over the years and had a far worse experience with the Home Office than we did with New Zealand immigration.

That's the New Zealand rule and if you don't like it then don't come. Not to say that I don't sympathies with the OP but I hardly think that the immigration people here make up the year rule on purpose just to diddle migrants out of their hard earned cash.
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

Originally Posted by Gail5 View Post
I haven't been on here for quite a while. We're trying to sell the house with no luck, things aren't great. We have PR and activated our visa last July so only have till next July to return or we have to re-apply. Tomorrow we change to another estate agent (lost count now of how many we have been with) and are hoping they can sell our house, if not we will have to consider renting it out. Are there many of you who are renting out a property in the UK whilst living in NZ? How are you getting on? Is it as stressful as I think it will be - being a landlord so far away? Would really appreciate your thoughts.

Gay x
Hello we rent our little flat in Streatham out and have had no problems at all. My only advice would be to get a good accountant to help you with your tax returns (if you are no good at that sort of thing like we are ) but there are loads of people I've met since coming here who are renting their properties until the markets pick up somewhat. However when that happens who knows

We don't find it stressful at all and have been using an estate agent both to find us decent tenants and then manage the property - we pay 13% which is quite pricey but they get the best tenants in what isn't a fabulous area. Our tenants are long term and, although we were considering selling next year, we think that if they want to stay we may rent it for another year.

Estate agent fees are money for old rope (apologies again Am Loolah I am sure your fees are not ) and it does get me a bit cross when their bill comes in for them doing pretty much bog all, but on the other hand it does mean we can live here and keep our asset base in the UK until we know what is happening long term. This may be somehting you want to consider - it's worth hanging onto your property for a bit until you know for sure that you will settle in New Zealand for the long haul. Of course, I hope you come here and everything works out for you but you never know what curve balls life will throw at you!

So to cut my waffling, renting isn't necessarily a bad option. Good luck
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

I rented a flat and was only 20 miles away from it, and it's easy if you have a good tenant, it's a nightmare if you don't.

And in my experience that has been pot luck either with or without an agent. One who was brilliant on paper skipped off owing me a month's rent and it took me 2 days just to make it habitable.

I would say though, that from the other side of the world you need to have an agent to find your tenants, to market it, to do repairs and to clean it between rentals. I had a partial agreement in that I did the repairs and cleaning myself but I was local. And by the time you come to sell it, you need to factor in a complete redecoration/new carpets (in my case a new bathroom as well thanks to the sink getting broken).

We sold our house in a week...mostly down to luck, but a few other factors included accepting £10k less than what we paid for it 4 years ago (but fortunately all of our equity out), we kept it under a stamp duty threshold, we stripped all our personality out if it (all photos/clutter went in the attic) and it was immaculate to the point of looking like we didn't live there, there was certainly no evidence of dogs, we also redecorated and cleaned all the carpets adn we used an agent who only pay their staff if they sell a house ie commission only. House down tho road used another agent and they gave up after 2 years - pretty similar house.
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Old Oct 21st 2010, 9:28 am
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Default Re: Renting your house in the Uk and living in NZ

No doubt another greedy seller who won't price their house realistically!

A house is only worth what some mug will pay for it.

I hope you dont sell it, unless its for a realistic sum.
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