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How to turn a Residential Property into a Buy-to-Let

You may think that you can easily rent out your house if need be. Or perhaps you’ve inherited a house and want to let it for some extra income?

Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as simply popping the property on the rental market and finding yourself some tenants. In fact, doing just that could leave you in a lot of trouble.

So, grab a cuppa and ensure you follow our guide to cover your back.

1. Check the Lease

The issue with leasehold properties is that the lease may prohibit subletting, even if you own the house outright. Check your lease – if it doesn’t ban subletting, you’re able to rent out the property. If freeholder prohibits subletting, you can ask them for written permission to rent the property.

2. Do you need a License?

Local authorities differ with this one. Some require landlords to comply with the selective licensing scheme and others don’t. However, it’s worth spending 5 minutes to check so you don’t face any penalties.

3. Ensure you’ve changed your Mortgage

A Buy-to-Let mortgage differs considerably from a residential mortgage. Therefore, you’ll need to notify your mortgage provider and update the mortgage you’re on.

4. Change your insurance policy

Changing to a landlord buy-to-let insurance cover will protect your property as your standard home insurance won’t cover renting the property out. These will include loss of rent cover, which will protect you if the property is subject to damage or becomes uninhabitable.

5. Ensure your property has a minimum EPC of E.

For a property to be compliant, it must have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E or above. From 2025, this will increase and landlords must have a minimum EPC rating of C.

6. Comply with Gas Safety Regulations.

With a penalty of £5000 for non-compliance, it is definitely worth ensuring your property is gas safe. A Gas Safe Registered Engineer must conduct the Gas Safety Certificate inspection. The property must be deemed safe before tenants move in, with each tenant receiving a copy of the certificate.

7. Ensure you have working fire and carbon-monoxide alarms.

Unlike in a residential home, fire and carbon monoxide alarms are compulsory in the rental sector.

To abide by the law, you must install a fire alarm on each floor of your property. There must also be a carbon monoxide alarm in each room used as living accommodation in which solid fuel will be burned. Alarms must also be in working order at the start of the tenancy.

There is a lot of compliance to consider before putting a property onto the rental market. However, following the rules will mean you’ll avoid any penalties. Of course, the above is just what has to be done before the property can be rented out. It doesn’t include other compliance such as Right to Rent or The How to Rent Guide.

Have you changed a property from residential to buy-to-let? Or perhaps you’re just thinking about doing so to earn some extra income?

Let us help you to do so know in the comment section below.