Should I sell or rent my apartment because it won’t fit our needs if my partner moves in? | Property

s I’m about to finalize a mortgage deal on my flat at a fixed rate. My partner and I plan to move in together sometime in the next 12 months. My apartment doesn’t suit both of our needs, so we’ll probably need to rent a new property together.

Is it better if I sell my apartment and have the equity (and current cash savings) ready for deposit in a new home, either jointly or independently, in a year or two; Or am I seeking to rent my apartment? I don’t have much knowledge of agents’ fees and other costs and taxes associated with renting them out; What do I expect? Based on my initial business, I suspect I would at best hope to break even rather than make a profit from renting it.

If I decide (and are able to) rent it out, I want to be a good landlord, including by offering the option of long-term rentals. Regardless of any changes in my relationship status, I don’t want to stay living in my apartment long term. Selling the apartment appears to be the simpler option, and will give me a larger deposit for my next home, but what are the risks of doing so? Will keeping my apartment serve me better as a long-term investment?
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a Since you don’t want to stay in your apartment long term and will sell it at some point, you wondered why not sell it now and buy another property that suits your needs. But your partner probably doesn’t want to live in your property (I can’t think of why that would be a problem). If so, then your choice, as you indicated, is between selling and renting your apartment.

Selling, she says, is the simpler option but if you don’t plan to buy elsewhere right away, you’ll miss out on any apartment value growth in the next year or two. It is unlikely that any interest you earn on the cash generated from the sale will match the growth of real estate prices. This will not be the case if you choose to rent the property. Making this choice may also mean that you have a place to go back to if living together doesn’t work out.

But this assumes that you can leave your apartment. It is possible that your lease agreement states that you are not allowed to. Even if you can, you will need to prove that you are able to either convert your mortgage into a buy-to-let or obtain permission from your current lender to let the apartment. Converting to a buy-to-let mortgage is only an option if the mortgage will represent 75% or less of the apartment value. If your current mortgage is more than 75% of the apartment value, you will have to hope that your current lender will give you permission to leave the property.

Another potential barrier to getting a buy-to-let mortgage: The rent you get from the apartment must cover your mortgage payments at 125%.

Other factors to consider are agents’ fees – which can be up to 20% (including VAT) of the rent paid if you opt for a full management service, and the cost of safety checks and income tax on rent minus expenses. Rightmove has a helpful guide to becoming an owner at rightmove.co.uk/advice/landlord.

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