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to be considering renting from my uncle?

(26 Posts)
BrittaPerry Tue 12-Feb-13 21:57:19

I have just split from H and moved to my home town (he is planning to get his own flat in the town) so I am looking for places to rent.

My uncle owns a couple of houses in my parents village (so, not my first choice as I would like to live near the centre of the big town, but there are good buses and it would be near my parents and my nana, who I sometimes help look after, plus there are nicer schools for if we decide to send the kids to school one day)

He currently rents them out, so I presume it would be ok housing benefit wise (I know that they won't pay if someone bought a house specially to rent it to you, but this would be different I think as they are already established as rented) and it would be secure, as I know he is financially stable and would at least give me lots of notice if he needed me out. He does currently ask an unreasonably high rent (hence why he has two with no tenant at the moment) but a just above average rent for that size house in that area would be just above HB rates and very affordable.

He has no children of his own and has always been very keen to help out me and my sisters - he paid towards my wedding, owns part of my parents house and so on. One of the houses is also the house where my nana and grandad lived when I was growing up so I have a lot of happy memories. It is pretty ideal size wise for us.

I'm just reluctant to ask a a family member as I don't want to seem like I am begging or taking advantage - if he said no I wouldn't be offended, but he might think that I would be. My parents keep asking me if I want them to ask him though. I'm also worried about what would happen if it somehow went wrong. My Dad is a builder who has done maintenance on my uncles houses in the past, so I know I would get repairs done.

I hopefully won't be claiming benefits for very long - I already have a few possible jobs that fit around home educating the kids - but obviously I can't guarantee that I won't need them again.

It's a bad idea, isn't it?

I have rented from my uncle since 2005. I could not ask for a better landlord. smile

INeedThatForkOff Tue 12-Feb-13 22:09:19

No, it's a great idea if you can be sure that HB won't be an issue.

BrittaPerry Tue 12-Feb-13 22:39:27

My mum has sent him a text, saying no obligation, but would he consider it. Hopefully it coming from my mum (his sister) makes it easier if he wants to say no.

Naysa Wed 13-Feb-13 00:51:49

No, it doesn't sound like a bad idea, but IMO unless you keep it professional it could go badly.

I'd make sure that you got a contract and all that jazz.

TroublesomeEx Wed 13-Feb-13 09:45:11

Get a tenancy agreement as you would with any other LL and go for it.

I don't think the fact he is your uncle would be a problem.

The problem with renting to relatives happens when (for examples) 2 brothers buy a house each, each acts as the LL of the house they bought but they live in each other's house and claim HB on that.

That is what they are trying to avoid. Not someone renting from a relative.

Sounds perfect to me tbh.

mrsjay Wed 13-Feb-13 09:47:15

HB maybe an issue you have to check first My cousin rented from his dad and they couldn't get HB the house wasn't bought for them iyswim. but apart from that yes id rent of an uncle ,

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 10:02:29

I think maybe paying that bit extra to go through an agentcould be useful. Or is it loads extra?

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 10:05:33

Re the HB thing, I know someone who lived in his parental home with his silings, but his parents had moved out with their respective new partners. His mum only charged him rent when he coukd claim HB, she didn't need it but it was 'free money', iyswim. I think the rules could be to do with preventing that kind of thing.

Oreocrumbs Wed 13-Feb-13 10:11:54

An agent would be 10% more per month, and the only really act as a go between. If there were to be problems, it would still be up to you and your uncle to sort out.

As long as there is a tenancy agreement, and a bond which gets put in the deposit system, you will both be in the same position as if you were any other LL/tenant.

You will also need a tenancy to get the HB I believe.

INeedThatForkOff Wed 13-Feb-13 10:12:51

It would be your uncle who had to pay an agent, and frankly they're a bit shit anyway. Doesn't prevent you from having a contract and a protected deposit anyway.

INeedThatForkOff Wed 13-Feb-13 10:13:06

Too many anyways!

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 10:17:02

My uncle is a chartered accountant who owns various businesses, so hopefully he will know the right things to do. I say hopefully because I am worried he might let me take advantage, which I really don't want to do.

He has had tenants in the past that I went to school with, and I could have told him they were bad news. They were.

It will be more expensive for your uncle to go through an agency. The fees would be 10-20% of the entire rent for the first year (or however long the tenancy is as per the contract) paid upfront, for him. This would then be deducted from the first months rent, so he will have no income those months.

He saves a lot of money then, by finding a tenant without an estate agent involved. Maybe you could negotiate on rent a bit, knowing that.

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 10:18:31

I should add, we have a habit in my family of asking him to go over any contracts or investments for us. So he seems to know his stuff, even before he started renting properties out.

Look Britta. He runs a business. He lets houses. You want to rent a house. You want to pay the rent he is charging, even if it is higher than market value in the area, and the houses have been empty for a few months. Tell me how is it that you would be taking advantage of him? You will be paying him.

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 10:23:57

It is more that he is taking the risk that I won't pay the rent (I have never missed a rent payment in my life, but I suppose there is nothing stopping me starting doing that if I was so minded). If I wrecked the house or didn't pay the rent or whatever, he would worry that he wouldn't be able to do anything without a family fallout.

Also, my mum and dad have never claimed benefits, and seem to think that because I have a different surname I can just not tell the council I am related. So who knows what they will tell him when he rings up. I just want to be above board, I have never lied to benefits because it just isn't worth the stress.

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 10:25:11

I am usually very suspicious of landlords, but this seems different.

Ah well, I can ask, he might say no.

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 10:27:09

Oh, he also knows that I have had severe mental health problems, which obviously a normal landlord wouldn't know. So he knows there is a chance that I could do something crazy. I won't, like I say I have never missed rent, but there is a bigger chance than the average person I suppose.

But he has had a much more risky family member living in a house in his own garden, so I suppose that won't stop him.

Do you think you will do something crazy or not pay rent?

Have you trashed houses and withheld rent in the past?

What makes you think you will do this to your own uncles property?

Would you not think the thought of a family fall out would be a deterrent on your side too?

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 13:27:12

I've always been a model tenant (well, apart from being very messy and noisy as a student, but that's different) and if anything, my MH makes me even more keen to have a secure home at almost any cost.

It's just that he doesn't know that.

He has been talking about selling the houses anyway, so he might not want to rent to me for that reason.

Would you be able to buy it? (perhaps a silly question, but worth investigating?)

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 13:47:38

Not at the moment, as I'm on income support. I am studying for a degree though, which improves my job prospects, so things could well change.

The weird thing is, and I feel awful mentioning this, that I would be likely to inherit some of the house at some point, as I am one of his closest relatives. Obviously that doesn't affect the rent etc now in any way, nor is it part of any life plan because he might sell everything and give it to the cats home but it does make it feel even weirder if I think about it.

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 13:49:42

On the inheritance issue, if he lives as long as my grandad (his dad) we re talking another 40 years. So really really not something to factor into plans grin

BrittaPerry Wed 13-Feb-13 13:55:06

I suppose one of the reasons I am moving is to help look after my nana (his mum) more often, because my mum (his sister) is struggling. So that is helping him.

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