Handy Letting Checklist – Self Managed
We have put together a handy checklist for first time Landlords embarking on letting for the first time – it’s also probably a useful reminder for any other Landlords out there. If you have just had a long term tenancy end you can get a little rusty on what essentials you need to go through.
Obtain an upto date Short Term Tenancy Agreement. With legislation changes (particularly in the last few years) it is important to ensure this is upto date. There are several out in the marketplace but we would recommend Propertyhawk and their free downloadable agreement.
Ask the new prospective tenant for details of their previous Landlord so you can obtain verbal or written references. It may also be useful to obtain employer details and details of next of kin in cases of an emergency. We would of course recommend using Landlord Referencing for further peace of mind !
To instil confidence that your tenant can afford the rent we would suggest obtain copies of latest bank statements and also confirmation of the prospective’s current salary or earning capacity.
Landlords now have a legal obligation to ensure a tenant’s deposit if put in one of the government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. This must also be done within 30 days of receiving the deposit from your tenant. Please see (www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview)for more details.
Tenants have a right to see the Energy Performance Certificate for your property so they can gauge what their likely energy costs are going to be. Ensure you have this and a copy with which you can provide to them.
Landlord Gas Safety Certificate
Commonly referred to as a CP12 (Corgi Proforma 12) this certifies that any gas appliances (and associated flues) within your property are safe to use. This is a legal requirement and must be performed annually. A copy of the latest certificate should be provided to your tenant when they move in and subsequent renewals once actioned should also then be provided within 28 days of completion.
It is vitally important that you conduct an inventory at the start (and end) of a new tenancy. A list and accompanying photograph of all items and their condition should be set out. We would also recommend Utility meter readings are captured and recorded via this document. This should be signed also by both Landlord and Tenant.
Council Tax and Utility Bills
Once you have agreed a move in date you should inform the local council of the new tenant details and the date when they will occupy the property. This will ensure both parties pay their due amount concerning the contribution for Council Tax. Note the stance taken by Councils varies significantly from borough to borough. Some offer partial discount for temporarily vacant properties and others demand full payment. Also ensure from your inventory above that all Utility companies are informed of the transfer date. Your tenant should make their own arrangements regarding providing their details for switching over supply and indeed selecting their own provider dependent on their circumstances.
Ensure you leave or provide copies of any user guides for White Goods or Heating appliances so that the tenant is aware of how to correctly operate. This will avoid any potential misuse and any unnecessary calls asking for guidance.
Whilst you will have your tenant’s details it can sometimes be overlooked to provide them with your details and this will be important in case of emergency or allowing them to contact you via phone or email in case of an appliance fault or boiler breakdown etc.
If you have been living in the property we would recommend getting your mail redirected via Royal Mail whilst you update details directly with Utility companies and your contact list. It is unfair to ask the tenant to forward and additionally it is not acceptable to “drop in” unannounced for the purposes of collecting correspondence.
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