As a Landlord, What do I Need to do Before Renting my Home?
At this point you should have tenants ready to move in. They should have either received or be receiving their contract soon and have already been referenced. This article should serve as a quick checklist for landlords to get their property ready for their new tenants.
Things a landlord needs to do.
Clean the property
This goes without saying, but a tenant will appreciate a clean property to move in. It gives them one less thing to worry about when they move in and will hopefully set a standard for them to keep throughout the property. Moreover, if they move into a tidy property, they are expected to leave it as a tidy property when they vacate, so it will benefit you as a landlord in the long run.
Make sure the property is safe to habit
As a landlord, you have a legal obligation to ensure your rental property is safe to live in. You need to ensure that any white goods or electrical appliances included within the property are safe to use. Any electrical equipment you provide will need a portable applicant test (PAT). If there are any gas appliances then a Gas Safe registered engineer will need to carry out checks to ensure the equipment is safe to use. You also need to ensure that a smoke alarm is installed on each floor and that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room that has a solid fuel-burning appliance. It’s also important that the property is checked for damp and pest infestations. It’s also worth identifying any areas that might need repairing, as it’s your responsibility to do so should they pose a risk to your tenants’ health and safety.
If you are renting an HMO, there are stricter guidelines required.
Once you have finished all of the necessary repairs and decoration works, make sure you have an inventory conducted. The inventory serves as a reminder to the tenant and landlord of the condition of the property before the start of the tenancy. Within the inventory, you should include descriptions of all rooms and items described within each room including the conditions (flooring type, furniture, etc) with physical evidence presented in timestamped images. Additionally, it should also include information about the number of keys the tenant receives, the location and readings of the meters, condition of any external included spaces (sheds or garages) and relevant certificates such as Gas Safety or Electrical Safety tests if required.
To learn more about the importance of inventories for landlords and tenants and what they should include, visit our guide.
It will be very useful when the time comes for your tenants to move out, in assessing whether it has been left in the same condition as when they moved in.
If you are at this stage, then you should already have a valid EPC in place and copy should be in the new tenant’s possession. If not, make sure you have ordered for an EPC to take place on your home
If you are unsure, you can check to see if your property has a valid EPC on the EPC Register: https://www.epcregister.com/reportSearchAddressTerms.html
It is a given, that when renting a property out, things may occasionally go wrong. You may be required to foot the bill of an expensive repair or matters out of your control could happen (think floods or earthquakes). This is why it is important to have the right insurance policies in place.
Although it isn’t a legal requirement to have a landlord’s insurance policy, some lenders may require it for their buy-to-let mortgages.
Landlord’s insurance offers a variety of cover options, from Buildings, Contents, Legal Expenses and Rent Guarantee, so you can choose the cover type that suits your circumstances. You can learn more about landlord’s insurance from this article on our Insurance Broker’s website.
Lastly, it is worth checking one more time that the tenants have all of the necessary documents and contracts before they move in.
Make sure they have the following:
- Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
- ‘How to Rent Guide’.
- Valid EPC
- Valid Gas Safety Certificate – if necessary
If you have checked all of these off of your list. Good job.
Being a landlord can be time-consuming and this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, there is more that could be done to ensure the tenancy runs smoothly. If you require any further information on what you should be doing before you rent your home, we are always happy to help, just give us a call on 01454 316 718 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.