Checklist for Landlord


As the Landlord, there are a number of steps that you should take to ensure that the tenancy and the property are compliant for your new tenant.

Some of the steps are required by law and other steps are best practice.  In some situations failing to take certain steps can prevent you from taking back the property or even leave you open to a fine or imprisonment.

Set out below is a handy and easy to follow checklist.

At Sintons, we advise landlords, managing agents and property investors on a wide range of tenancy issues.  We combine excellent technical knowledge with a practical understanding to provide you with quick, pro-active and effective solutions.

The legislation and the requirements that Landlords must follow are continually changing and our specialist solicitors will be able to help you with every step.

Legal Requirements

Deposit

If a deposit is taken it must be paid into one of the three Government Tenancy Deposit Schemes within 30 days of receipt of the deposit.  You must thereafter provide the tenant with the prescribed information & a certificate to confirm that the deposit has been placed in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Gas Certificate

You must have all gas appliances and flues checked by an engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register at least once every 12 months & you must provide a copy of the Safety Certificate to the Tenant.

EPC

You must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate for the property and provide a copy to the Tenant.

How to Rent Booklet

You must provide the Tenant with a copy of the current version of the How to Rent Booklet.  It can be found here.

Right to Rent

You must check the Tenant’s immigration status to ensure that they have the right to occupy before renting it to them however obvious it may be.  Failure to do this could lead to a civil penalty of up to £3,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years.

For UK residents obtain a passport or driving licence.  For foreign nationals obtain a valid visa or work permit.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke alarms have to be fitted on each floor and carbon monoxide alarms need to be fitted in every room with a solid fuel burning source.

HMO

If you let the property to at least 3 tenants who form more than one household & who share toilet, bathroom, or kitchen facilities you need to contact your Local Authority Housing Officer regarding a Licence that may be needed.

Best Practice

Tenancy Agreement

Although a written tenancy agreement is not a requirement it just makes sense to set out all of the terms in a tenancy agreement so that everything is clear.

References

You should obtain references for the Tenant & evidence of their employment or ability to pay the rent.

Housing Benefit Letter of Authority

If your Tenant is claiming Housing Benefit it is advisable to obtain a letter of authority at the outset of the tenancy to discuss your Tenant’s Housing Benefit with the Benefit Office.

Guarantee

If you are unsure whether the Tenant can pay the rent it may be advisable to obtain a guarantee.

Inventory & Schedule of Conditions

An Inventory and Schedule of Condition is used to prove the condition of the property & the contents at the start of the tenancy.  Have the tenant sign both. This will reduce the chance of a dispute down the line.

Check your landlord insurance and Mortgage

Obtain permission from your mortgage provider to rent the property.

When renting a property, sometimes things go wrong and repairs can be costly.  Make sure your insurance policy provides suitable cover.

*Correct as at 1 February 2018. Please speak to a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team about any legislation changes.

For more information about our expertise and how we could help you, please contact us.