If you’re brand new to renting out properties, it can be an intimidating time, as you navigate your way around all of the latest legal guidance, not to mention the sometimes significant task of getting your first house ready to let.
To help ease some of your anxieties and clear any confusion, here is a quick guide to some of the essential tasks you should tick off your to-do list when you become a first-time landlord.
Make Sure The Property Is Safe
Probably the most important duty for any landlord to carry out is ensuring that the property is safe for human habitation. This doesn’t just mean installing the legally required carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, but also includes providing essential certification.
One of those must-have certificates is a Gas Safety Certificate, the provision of which requires the services of experienced compliance experts such as Trade Facilities Services. If you are looking for a Gas Safety Certificate for landlords and live in London, their knowledgeable gas engineers can provide their testing services and give you all of the relevant documentation to prove that your rental property is safe.
The other essential certificate you will need is an Energy Performance Certificate, which will indicate to potential tenants how energy-efficient your property is. This is particularly important following the 2021 declaration by the government that all rentals should have an EPC of C or higher by 2025.
Take An Inventory
Once you have had your property inspected and fitted out with all of the essential safety paraphernalia, you should conduct an inventory that details all of the home’s original fixtures, fittings, and other items. This document is vital as it ensures that your investment is properly taken care of throughout the tenancy, and that nothing can be damaged or stolen without your knowledge.
You and your lettings agent will also be able to the inventory to decide whether or not a tenant should have a deduction made from their deposit to pay for any damage or unauthorised alteration to the property.
Draw Up A Comprehensive Tenancy Agreement
Along with the inventory, you must draw up a tenancy agreement that serves as a contract between you and your tenants.
There is more than one tenancy type to choose from, but the most frequently used form is known as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If you choose this format, then your agreement will be required to contain all of the essential details about the impending tenancy. This includes information regarding the location, layout and condition of the property; the contact details of you and your tenants; the dates and duration of the tenancy; and information on what notice periods must be given for the tenancy to be terminated.
Your lettings agent can assist you when it comes to the finer points of your tenancy agreement. Bear in mind that once the contract has been signed, you will need to ask your tenants’ permission before making any alterations.
As this article shows, there are several obligations that you need to fulfil as a first-time landlord before you can welcome tenants in and begin collecting your monthly rent. While it may seem rather daunting at first, with the support and advice of your lettings agent, and your own effort and initiative, there is no reason why your first tenancy shouldn’t proceed according to plan.