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Renting versus selling an inherited property

By LLM Reporters  |  August 3, 2020

Inheriting a property is one of the most bittersweet things that can happen to us in our lifetimes. On the one hand, being gifted a beautiful piece of luxury real estate is an incredible blessing, but losing someone you love in order to be given it is something we’d all rather avoid.
Trying to decide whether you should rent or sell an inherited home in the midst of all the sadness can be a challenging and time-consuming task. It’s always tempting to hold onto the memories, but financially speaking, selling or renting could both be better options.

Advantages and disadvantages exist for both options, so you need to take the time to think about your possibilities pragmatically. To help you begin to do that, here are some of the key things you need to consider.

Financial considerations

As the quick and easy property buying service, Molae Properties London explains, there are a variety of points to consider when deciding on the best option for you. Whether you choose to sell or rent will depend on your personal circumstances, and your personal financial situation could help you to determine what the best course of action is for you.
For instance, if you decide to rent out the residence, you will stand to gain a regular monthly income – but on the other hand, selling the property can give you a nice lump sum. So, if you currently own a home, it may be better to rent out your inherited property to give you an additional stream of income. If you are presently renting your home or paying off a mortgage, by selling your inherited property, you could have enough to pay off your mortgage or move from renting a property to owning one. Whether the inherited property is mortgage-free or not will also make a difference to your decision.

Rental considerations

Your decision shouldn’t be based solely on financial circumstances, and you will want to consider a few other points before you choose whether to sell or rent your inherited property. For instance, if you think you will head down the rental route, it could be very difficult to manage the property as a landlord if you do not live near the residence. If you’re considering renting, you will also want to ask yourself questions like:

· Will future maintenance bills be reasonable?

· Is the property in good condition to immediately rent out or will I need to spend money doing it up?

· Is the property in an area that will attract a good supply of tenants?
There are, of course, risks concerned with renting out a property. For instance, you could find yourself going through long periods where you can’t find a tenant, which could potentially leave you out of pocket for undetermined amounts of time. In some instances, bad and unreliable tenants may also leave you with months of unpaid rent and damage to the property – an issue that can cause plenty of unnecessary stress and expense, and one that you’d probably rather avoid.

Such risks can be covered by insurance, but that is another cost you will want to factor into your calculations. Ultimately, it comes down to how important it is that you have peace of mind.

Selling considerations

If the property you inherit is in poor condition, you’ll need to decide whether to spend money fixing it up so you can attain a higher sale price, or whether you want to sell the residence in its current state for less money – but probably less hassle, too.

Before you make the decision, it’s a good idea to invite two or three estate agents around to value the property. You will then have a better idea of whether it is worth renovating before selling. A few cosmetic tweaks here and there or a new kitchen and bathroom can easily add thousands to the value, if you’re willing to put in the extra work.
Ultimately, your personal attachment to the property will have the greatest influence on the course of action you decide to take. If the person who left you the inherited property was a close loved one, you might like to hang onto the property because of the happy memories it holds – whether or not it makes financial sense to do so.

Conversely, you may want to sell the property as soon as possible for exactly the same reasons. Take time to go through the grieving process before making any hasty decisions you might later regret, and allow yourself time to thoroughly think things through. If you inherit the place during an economic downturn, you may want to hang on to the property until the market is more favourable – so keep an eye on the property market and wait for the right time to take the leap.

Inheriting a property can be one of life’s most unexpected gifts, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. Consider your options, then work out what feels right for you; the person who left it to you will have done so because they wanted you to be happy, so it all comes down to personal preference.