Landlord checklist – what to do before tenants move in.
Whether self managing or using a letting agent to let your property, it’s good to have a landlord checklist to ensure you complete certain aspects of the lettings journey at the righright time. Remember if you get a letting agent to do this for you, you are still legally liable and must check the letting agent has done this correctly to avoid penalties being charged to you.
Protect yourself: many of these must be done before tenants move in.
Your landlord checklist: legal must dos
1. Do your tenants have the ‘Right to Rent’?
Landlords must ensure tenants can legally reside in the UK before letting to them. The penalty for renting to someone without the right to rent is a £3,000 fine or even imprisonment.
The government has issued a list of commonly available documents to check. If your tenants have the right to rent, take a copy of the document and keep it on file. Protect yourself and make sure you tick this off your landlord checklist.
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2. Have you protected the deposit?
Deposit protection is a legal requirement for landlords. Landlords must protect deposits within 30 days of receiving funds, or face a fine of up to three times the deposit amount.
Need a tenancy agreement and deposit protection?
For Property investor reward club members we have agreed exclusive discounted rates with MyDeposits who quote PIRC2017 for members.
3. Make your property fire safe
A smoke alarm must be on all floors of the property, and carbon monoxide detectors must be in any rooms with fuel-burning devices.
At check-in you must test all alarms in front of the tenants and we recommend you get them to sign to say they have witnessed the testing.
For Property Investor Reward Club recommends CEF electrical wholesalers who have a range of smoke alarms, CO2 detectors and fire panels which are compliant with exclusive discounted rates for members.
4. Make sure your Gas Safety Certificate is up to date
If there’s a gas supply at your rental, you must arrange a gas safety inspection each year. You must give a copy of the CP12 certificate to tenants at the start of a tenancy.
5. Make sure your EPC is up to date
Landlords must have a valid EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) to let a property legally in the UK. You must give a copy of the certificate to tenants at the start of a tenancy.
Remember EPC certificates last for only 10 years and lots of properties are now due for retesting. Remember rental properties must now be a minimum of E or above.
Need an up-to-date EPC or Gas Safety Certificate? Make sure both are ticked off your landlord checklist.
6. Give tenants a copy of the government guide, ‘How to Rent’?
This guide lists landlord obligations and tenants’ rights. You must give tenants a hard copy or email it to them as an attachment. A link to the guide is not enough.
7. Are appliances in working order?
Any appliance left in the property must be safe to use. Anything not working should be replaced or removed. Test all appliances before tenants move in and tick this off your landlord checklist.
8. Check your Furniture is Fire Safe
If your property is furnished, furniture must be flame resistant.
For Property Investor Reward Club recommends Landlord Furniture Co who give a 3 year warranty on furniture. Furtniture is robust 18mm on all sides, made in the UK and compliant with all safety standards as well as being delivered ready made and installed in your rooms. PIRC membrs exclusive discounted rates.
Your landlord checklist: we highly recommend…
9. Have you referenced your teants?
This is the best look into your tenant’s ability to pay their rent on time. A good referencing check will look at affordability, employability, credit history, and a previous landlord reference.
Need to know more about your tenants?
For Property investor reward club members we have agreed exclusive discounted rates with Blinc Tenant Referencing for members.
10. Do you have a tenancy agreement?
A tenancy agreement outlines tenant and landlord responsibilities. It’s one of the most important things to tick off your landlord checklist. It clarifies legal rights, and helps keep landlords protected.
11. Have you arranged an inventory?
Although not a legal requirement, an inventory is vital if you wish to deduct funds from the deposit. If the tenants disagree with your deductions, you won’t be able to claim anything without a signed inventory.
To learn more about inventories, read our guide: ‘A property inventory can save you thousands’.
12. Take meter readings
This keeps things fair. It means tenants will know what they have to pay, and helps prevent landlords from being left with outstanding payments. Meter readings are often overlooked, so make sure you tick this off your landlord checklist.
For Property Investor Reward Club members we have agreed exclusive discounted rates with PIRC Energy of all your utility bills for members.
13. Update utility suppliers
It’s a good idea to update utility suppliers with new tenant details. This ensures any utilities tenants use will be billed to them. It can be quite easy to miss, so make sure you tick this off your landlord checklist.
14. Provide emergency contact numbers
Important — especially for reducing damage caused to the property. If a pipe bursts in the middle of the night, for example, your tenants need to know who to call. Make sure you give the tenant has contact details for emergencies
15. Change the locks
Some might view this as an extra expense, but it could be vital for the safety of your new tenants. If you don’t change the locks, you must be confident your previous tenants were trustworthy enough to return all copies of the keys.
For Property Investor Reward Club members we have agreed exclusive discounted rates with Matrix AI on all locks and handles for members.
15. Check your Insurance
We recommend you check your landlord property insurance is in place and update your insurer with your tenant details and inform your tenant of any restrictions in your insurance policy such as smoking, pets, flood working from home or number of occupants.
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