When it comes to letting out a property it isn’t always as straightforward as just collecting the rent each month. You will have a legal responsibility to your tenants and so you will need to make sure that you are doing the right thing and that you meet all the necessary rules and regulations. Our checklist here will help you get things covered.
Make sure the property is safe
The first thing you want to do is visit the property and ensure that everything in the place is safe. All the electrics are up to standard, there are no loose floorboards, or other dangerous items that could cause your tenants an injury. Failure to do so could see you facing fines or even a jail sentence. Landlords are legally required to put smoke alarms on every floor that contains living space, and also install a carbon monoxide alarm if there is a solid fuel-burning appliance in the property.
Arrange an EPC
All landlords are now required to provide tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC on the day they move in. Additionally, all advertisements are required to give the energy rating for the property. Therefore, if you haven’t had it done yet you would be wise to get it completed sooner rather than later.
Advertise in the right places
Nowadays it is easy to publish listings on the internet yourself or put the property up for rent on places like Facebook but you want to make sure that you are attracting the right type of tenants, so you want to think if you want to list the property through an agency, or whether you go direct. Agencies will help filter the potential tenants and will take care of things like viewings etc, so this may be helpful for you.
Carry out an immigration right to rent check
Since early February 2016 Landlords are required to check that their tenants hold the relevant Right to Rent in the UK. This will normally require the landlord to perform an immigration check using an official document of the tenant such as a passport. Landlords are able to perform the checks themselves or let a letting agency do it, but failure to do so could see fines of up to £3000 against the landlord.
Reference your tenants
You want to make sure that your tenants are what they seem so that you minimise the risk of letting your property. This may include getting references from previous landlords or employers as well as checking bank statements and id on your tenants. You want to get piece of mind that you are renting to the right people.
Arrange the tenancy agreement
This is the legal contract upon which your letting is based, so it is important to make sure that you have this in place. If you make any alterations to the tenancy agreement you will have to get agreement from your tenants before you do. This is for your protection as well as for theirs.