Experiences from people who are renting their properties in GB to fund life in Spain please!

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12 Apr 2015 16:13 by Shininglight Star rating in Norwich Norfolk. 3 posts Send private message

Hi - I am interested to hear from those of you who have rented your houses in Great Britain to fund your life in Spain and what the experience has been for you.

I have decided the only way is for me to rent my house here in England to finance a rental in Spain.  I would get about £650 a month for rent of my modest two bedroomed terraced house and a small NHS pension.  I am not state pensionable age as the age of state retirement has gone up for me from 63 to 66 overnight... something I am will have to accept. So all in all I will have an income of about 1200 euros a month.  I think I would manage on that if my rent is in the region of 350 euros.  I have seeen many properties in my chosen area (Almeria) around this figure.   

I am interested in the benefits and the pitfalls of the decision of renting my English property out.

I feel  unable to make the full break with England - i.e. sell my house and move permanently to Spain.  The cost of health care is one of the reasons and the complexities of buying a property abroad.  However life would be a lot simpler if I could make that commitment as I would have enough money behind me to live a pretty good life in Spain.  I want to "test the waters" for a few months but keep my feet firmly here in England until I feel able to change my way of life.

I work full time and feel exhausted all the time.  I never have any money to spare as cost of living is so expensive where I live in England and all the other hidden expenses - like running a car (I won't need one where I intend to livein Spain).   I want some freedom before I am too old to enjoy it... Let me know your thoughts.  


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12 Apr 2015 17:01 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1237 posts Send private message


I'll leave it to folk who know better than me, but you don't have a back up plan if your UK property doesn't rent/the tenant goes into arrears etc, please take care. 


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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12 Apr 2015 19:51 by acer Star rating. 1365 posts Send private message


Yes as Mr H says, the tenant(s) seem an important part of your plan.  To a some extent this will depend on the Letting agent you choose, they vary considerably.  Some will give you any old story to justify their proposed tenant being acceptable - I generally like to meet them myself, but before I do so I want to know that they fit the pre-requisites agreed with the agent.  These will vary with the property, but you want to be in the driving seat.

If you don't have letting experience have a chat with a few Letting Agents until you find one that you reckon you can trust.  Ones that belong to a good professional body like ARLA, but even then it's good to agree a tight specification of the sort of tenant(s) you expect and ask to see the references and credit checks yourself.

You also must have someone you trust, a friend or relation visiting every couple of months whlst you're away.

The standard lease format is known as AST (Assured Shorthall Tenancy) generally for 12 months - avoid break clauses that the Agent will suggest unless you want them.  Let the Agent handle the deposit as it's now a legal minefield for the inexperienced.  Most will offer to manage the property, but their service may be less than you expect - some won't ever actually make a visit.

There are insurance packages available to guarantee rent payment, but personally I don't find them value for money.

I take lots of photos of the properties condition and give a copy to the tenants and also a simple note of the major features.  Of course if you are letting furnished you need to do a list of everything - you can claim an extra 10% offset against tax if you do so, which can be worthwhile.

But without intending to be patronising, don't be greedy with the rent.  Be prepared to let the property at just under the market price to attract several several prospective tenants, so you can chose the best.


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12 Apr 2015 20:12 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

- have you thought of selling your house?

You will have to pay income tax on your rental income and also declare it in Spain, thugh apparently you can ofset it against the Spanish tax

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13 Apr 2015 09:35 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1237 posts Send private message


We had a small buy to let portfolio in the UK and managed it ourselves. We found tenants to be either fabulous or complete nightmares, we actually had a school teacher tenant who thought that she could take whatever furniture that took her eye with her when she left.

Anyone can manage fabulous tenants, even the agents, however when it comes to the nightmares the law is on their side and not yours. an agent won't enter the property when the nightmare tenant is at work, black bag their belongings and have the locks changed, which is the answer to the problem, Also you will have to forget any unpaid rent as you will not be able to trace their new address as they generally move to another area.

You will end up a nervous wreck by being on tenterhooks when your tenant's rent is due, also there are rogue agents out there who don't pay the net rent over on time. 












I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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13 Apr 2015 14:16 by blueeyes Star rating. 64 posts Send private message

From the rental income you will have to pay out agents commission -if you use one-  house insurance, yearly gas certificate and any repairs/replacements. How do you propose to manage repairs? Let the agent deal with it or deal with it yourself? Do you have trusted workmen you can contact whilst you are in Spain and ask them to do the work? You also need to factor in the cost of access to healthcare whilst in Spain. You have a lot to consider.

Regarding your state pension, my understanding was that the 'worst case scenario' was an 'overnight' unexpected wait of two years. Following protests, the government made tweaks and now the wait should be a maximum of an extra 18 months.

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13 Apr 2015 14:56 by acer Star rating. 1365 posts Send private message

Some very negative comments here that don't vaguely reflect my experience.  I lived and worked abroad 40 years ago and rented my house out for 4 years without hardly a murmur.  In the meantime the place literally doubled in value.

I've been involved with BLTs for over 20 years and not had a serious issue, but it's important to know who you're renting to and keep in touch with them.

The landlords who hand over the keys and say goodbye for the duration of the tenancy are taking a big risk.

So don't be put off Shininglight, so long as you do it properly and maintain control the risks can be managed and it will be profitable.

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13 Apr 2015 18:25 by windtalker Star rating. 1670 posts Send private message

The original poster said they would have 1,200 EUR per month to live on that works out at £866.57p per month by the time you take the 350eu for rent /ibi/electric/water/and bought you weekly shopping you would not have much cash left for any sort of socialising l wish you well and hope your dream comes true .

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13 Apr 2015 18:41 by MagicWriter2015 Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Hi shininglight, can completely empathise with your predicament as we are in much the same situation, every time you think retirement is in your grasp, our lovely government move the goalposts a little bit further away. And as you say, living in the UK can be a terrible financial burden nowadays with the high costs of everything. Think it comes down to, do you want to live a miserable, frugal life at home or live a happier (surely everyone feels happier in the sun) life abroad. Difficult question which when I have my sensible hat on I think mmmmmm, maybe better stay put or when I get thoroughly fed up of being sensible, think, life is too short, make the most of it while you are able! Another thing that does concern me though is, what would happen to pensions if Britain does leave the European Union? Will they freeze pensions like they do in Canada? Lots to think about, makes my head spin!!!

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13 Apr 2015 19:52 by randolph Star rating. 167 posts Send private message

We find food in the market to be of great quality and cheap.

And...socialising need not cost a lot........e.g 

1) Join a walking group.

2) In San Juan de Los Terreos, in the summer, they have free sea- based exercise classes.

3) Have friends around for a meal - if they invite you back  you should break even.

We have an active social life and go to a bar approximately once every 2 weeks. ( Just for a beer!)








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13 Apr 2015 19:53 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1237 posts Send private message

OK so if it doesn't work out the OP hasn't bought or sold anything, so can return to the UK and reassess, The catalyst for failure is the UK property not performing to expectations, if this happens the OP has at least given it a go and hasn't been wiped out financially. 


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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17 Apr 2015 13:11 by Madura Star rating. 19 posts Send private message

I would give it a go.    Make sure your house is in good order before you go.  Get a gas safety certificate about £60 for a year.  Do you know a handyman local to your house.   Do a 6 month lease.  Advertise on gumtree.   I have done this for 4 years now for a small flat I rent out, a couple of problems but got sorted.   The biggest problem I had was husband got ill and tenant left so had to return for couple of months.  on the plus side had somewhere to live while he recouperated although have family I could've stayed with.  I was therefore liable for council tax, electric, gas etc.    if you could manage to get a bit of money behind you for emergencies you would be ok for at least 6 months IMO.  Have a look on gumtree in your area and see what comparable flats are going for, pitch yours slightly lower.   Touch wood I have had good tenants and could've rented flat out to dozens of people.  Also depending on what your looking for you will be spoilt for choice re. A rental in spain at the minute, might get something cheaper.  I am also pissed off re. Pensions another 6 years wait for me!  60 to 66.   Anyway good luck and best wishes

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17 Apr 2015 13:43 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1237 posts Send private message

You have my sympathy re pensions Madura, we drew ours at age 60 and 65 respectively and have had just under £100K out of them, we are now aged 69 and almost 68. You not only draw a lot less than you would have, you also pay National Insurance for longer.  


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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17 Apr 2015 14:58 by blueeyes Star rating. 64 posts Send private message

The equalisation of pension ages ( pressured by the EU )  was announced in 1995.

It's time people stopped being angry about it.

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17 Apr 2015 14:59 by blueeyes Star rating. 64 posts Send private message

double post

This message was last edited by blueeyes on 17/04/2015.

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17 Apr 2015 16:06 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1237 posts Send private message

Many public sector workers are distraught because they will not be able to access their final salary pensions until they are age 60, the state pension was just a nice little top up for them. As for EU pension equalisation, 60 would have been a lot nicer than 67, but the EU State rules, whatever happened to The Common Trading Market, god only knows. frown  


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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17 Apr 2015 16:22 by Madura Star rating. 19 posts Send private message

A lot of ladies my age have seen their pensions age put off for another 6 years.   I have always worked and planned and I certainly had no knowldge in 2005 of a change.   Plans included a pension at 60 - ho hum got over it but have to rethink plans now.   I don't know many places who will recruit the over 60's unfortunately.

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17 Apr 2015 17:12 by blueeyes Star rating. 64 posts Send private message

As I stated, equalisation of state pension age was announced in 1995. And has been brought in by 'staggered' ages since 2010.

I am 60 this year. I am totally astonished if you and other ladies you know were unaware of this.


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17 Apr 2015 19:17 by Madura Star rating. 19 posts Send private message

Be astonished blueeyes!   I too am 60 this year and had no idea in 1995 what the buggers were up to

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18 Apr 2015 01:45 by MagicWriter2015 Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

It's not a case of ' we did not know ' more a case of, now I am approaching 60 I am ready to retire, I am tired of working. I have grown up watching older folk being allowed to retire at 60 and thought in a few years that will be me and then you get told, nope, you have to wait until you are 62, then it is 63 and so on and so on. I have now been told they will not put mine up above 66, but how can I be sure? We are constantly being told 60 is the new 50 or even 40, which it may well be if you are 100% fit, but what about those of us who are not as fit? As I have already worked for 2/3rds of my life and paid tax and insurance I think we are entitled to be a bit angry and upset. The older generation have been able to fulfil their dreams, the younger generation still have theirs, but my generations are being pushed further and further away. I would love to be in a position to move abroad and enjoy some new experiences and new cultures. Those of you have done it don't realise how lucky you are to have been able to do it, even if it has all gone pear shaped and you want to return to the UK, you can still look back and say 'at least we tried it'. Rant over lol.

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