I realise it may seem like an ideal situation to let your property to someone you know, such as a friend or family member. The key, however, is to always remember that this is a business arrangement, not a favour.
Many agents will advise against it and some mortgage lenders absolutely forbid it. Problems can arise when one party or the other forgets that this is a legally binding situation and even the best of intentions can go wrong.
It may be that you feel you wish to let your friend or relative pay a discounted rent. This is perfectly okay but there should still be a normal tenancy agreement for a specified term. At the end of that term a new agreement can be made but it does give you breathing space in case any problems do arise.
It is a fact of life that from time to time families do have disagreements and friends do fall out. By having a fixed term agreement you are covering yourself if the worst happens.
There is also the question of insurance. You may be confident that your new tenant is trustworthy enough in most situations but there can still be unexpected incidents. A burst pipe when they are away for the weekend might lead to damage to a separate flat in a block, for example. Always ensure you have adequate insurance.
Problems may also arise at the end of a tenancy if the property is not left in a condition you consider to be adequate. To avoid this and other situations which you might find embarrassing, many people employ a third party such as a letting agent to manage the property for them.
Employing an agent gives you some space and allows for the deposit, repairs and other matters to be handled professionally and dispassionately.
At the end of the day, whatever their relationship to you, they are still your tenants.
If you are a landlord considering letting a property or a tenant looking for a new home why not give me, Eddie Carter, a call on 01684 292154 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively take a look around our website. We specialise in the Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire areas.