22 September 2017 | Admin | 0 Comments
Are you ready to rent out your pad? No doubt you’ve given your place a fresh coat of paint, perhaps some new blinds and furniture, and taken the photos for your listing. But don’t forget the more formal tasks that you, as a landlord, must deal with before you let the property too.
Here’s a very quick checklist to remind you of what needs to be covered. There’s more detail about each item further on in the blog if you need it.
Get ready …
- Gas safety certificate
- Fire safety
- Electrical safety
Get set …
- Right to rent checks
- Credit referencing
- Tenancy agreement
- Security deposit
- Documents for your tenants
When you’re getting ready to market your property …
- EPC: all properties that are being marketed for rent must have a current EPC certificate. These are valid for ten years, so if you’re not sure whether your property has an EPC check the online EPC register. If your property doesn’t have an EPC, I Am the Agent can arrange for an assessor to call and prepare one for you – you can purchase this online via our website.
- Gas safety certificate: if there is gas at the property, you must have a valid gas safety certificate before your tenants can move in. These must be renewed annually. We can help you with these, just check our website.
- Fire safety: you must fit smoke alarms on every floor, as well as carbon monoxide alarms in rooms using solid fuels and you need to make sure they are working at the start of your tenancy.
- If the property is furnished, don’t forget that furniture and furnishings must comply with fire safety regulations.
- Electricals: It goes without saying that all appliances must be safe. Get them checked regularly. Replace any items that have frayed cords or broken switches.
When you’ve found your tenants …
- Right to rent: all landlords are legally required to check each tenant’s right to reside in the UK before the tenancy starts. You will need to see their original documents and keep copies for your records too. Check the government’s webpage advice on this subject, which gives details of the documents you need to see.
- Credit referencing: at I Am the Agent, the UK’s first online estate agent, we always recommend that every adult who is going to live at the property should go through credit referencing. This will help you decide whether they are going to be good tenants: the referencing should cover their credit history and score to make sure there are no bad debts left behind them, an affordability test, to ensure they can actually afford the monthly rent, and references from employers and current or previous landlords. You can order credit referencing from the I Am the Agent website.
- Tenancy agreement: you can order and download a standard tenancy agreement from our website. If you’d like a bit more support when letting your pad, the I Am the Agent Whole Shebang package includes 2 x credit references + the tenancy agreement.
When they move in …
- Security deposit: you must transfer the tenants’ deposit within 30 days of receipt. There are serious repercussions if you don’t do it! We would strongly advise that you transfer the deposit on the day the tenants move in, then it won’t get overlooked.
- Inventory: some landlords will prepare their own inventory, and you can get a template for this in the document pack via our website. Sometimes, particularly if your property is a bit special or you have just refurbished, it can be a good idea to get a professional inventory prepared. This will give an accurate record of the condition of the property and its furnishings when the tenancy started and so should help avoid any disputes at the end of the tenancy about deductions from the security deposit. A third party report will carry greater weight in a dispute than one prepared by the landlord. The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks website will help you find one near you.
- Documents for your tenants: you must supply the tenants with copies of various certificates when they move in. Just giving them links to the documents isn’t good enough, so make sure you leave at the property printed copies for your tenants of:
- Gas safety certificate
- ‘How to rent’ guide
- Details of any electrical inspections
We hope this brief checklist will help you get started and ensure you have everything you need for when you find your great new tenants. I Am the Agent has great lettings packages, starting at £49 for 4 weeks on Rightmove and Zoopla. You can save masses in letting fees. Give us a call on 0333 444 1007 if you would like any more information.