Coming into property – a house or flat – can be a good thing for those looking to settle down, but for homeowners, (co-)owning a second property can be a great financial burden. There are legal fees, upkeep expenses and taxes to consider, which can further exhaust you in your time of grief. For this purpose, we’ve drafted this guide as to what happens when you inherit a property and the chief strategies you can adopt according to your needs.
Before you can take a course of action, you have to first see that the property has been signed onto your name legally – this is what’s referred to in the industry as a ‘probate’ process. Given the asset size and how many will inherit the property, this process can vary in length. Only after the property is in probate can you move forward to selling or renting it.
Keep It in the Family
If the property is dear to your heart and want to keep it in the family, but wish for it not to burden you financially, the easiest option is to gift or sell it to a family member. In case you do, always be sure to use a solicitor with the necessary experience with probate and check in with the HRMC for tax liabilities.
Gain Revenue from the Property
Renting is also a means to keep the property in your possession and have it produce income – a good long-term strategy that takes care of the financial responsibilities associated with inherited properties. Choosing this route means, however, renovations, refurnishing, dealing with tenants and learning how to fill out your self-assessment property tax returns.
Sell it Altogether
One way to put your property on the market is to sell it via local estate agents, which can be both prolonged and costly. You have to evaluate the property’s condition – something that has to be done twice. First, in current condition and second, after the renovations takes place. As you see, there’s a lot of work to be done and you most certainly can end up paying up to £4,500 in estate agency and legal fees. That’s on top any construction/decoration costs.
Don’t have the money or the patience to sell though the usual channels? Then your best bet is to turn to a property cash buying company. The main benefit here is that you don’t have to do any remodeling and the whole process is incredibly fast. This is because such companies make assessments based on house values in the local area. Although quite convenient to use, you have to know exactly how they work, examine contracts for any hidden fees and double check their previous work. Remember to put everything in writing and have it examined.
Whatever route you choose, remember one thing: do your research as quickly as possible and don’t leave the property to sit unattended for months.