After you have carried out viewings and applications have been submitted – What happens next? Here at Keyring Lettings we would like to share our knowledge and top tips to help you along the way.
Once you have found a suitable tenant, carried out your referencing, including the right to rent checks, the next step is to actually have the tenant move into your property. A Landlord checklist is very useful to have and here at KeyRing Lettings we want to make this journey is as easy and simple as possible for you.
There are certain steps that every landlord should follow to help make this transition as smooth as possible. This will minimise any misunderstandings and complaints.
Clean and tidy the property
The landlord must maintain the structure and exterior of the property. Whether the property is furnished or unfurnished, it is important that the property is clean throughout before the tenant moves in. This starts the tenancy off on a good footing and good relationships are key in order to have a trouble-free tenancy.
We strongly recommend that the property, including carpets, is professionally cleaned and, if necessary, the garden made tidy. It is essential to have a good and detailed inventory and schedule of condition in order to resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy. If the tenant disagrees with anything stated on the inventory, it is recommended that you give the tenant 7 days to note the inventory of changes and return it to the landlord/agent so both parties can agree, this will ensure that come the time the tenant moves out, there should then be no disputes as to the condition of the property when they moved in. We also suggest that you take photographs of everything possible so you have photographic evidence to match your inventory.
If you are under our Full Management Service, we will produce a detailed inventory of the property including a schedule of condition.
Fit smoke alarms on every floor and ensure that there is a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in any room that contains wood burning or coal burning appliances. Make sure they are working at the start of the tenancy and evidence that they are working by noting time and date tested and getting tenant to sign to agree ideally. If there is an open fire or wood burner you will need to fit a carbon monoxide detector in the room where the appliance/fireplace is. This is not needed for gas appliances (such as gas fires), as the annual gas safety certificate will cover these.
It is a legal requirement that all rental properties include smoke detectors at the rate of at least one per floor, unless the property has a full alarm system. These must be checked and working when a tenant moves in and our Tenancy Agreement places the liability for on-going testing on the tenant. We will also check that they are operating at our routine visits under our Full Management Service.
Gas safety check
A gas safety check is a legal requirement that must be carried out to ensure that all gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition and a safety record issued prior to the tenant moving into a property, This must be undertaken by a qualified registered Gas Safe engineer and renewed every 12 months.
The certificate must be issued to a new tenant at the start of the tenancy and within 28 days of the check to an existing tenant. Again, evidence that the tenant has been given this by getting them to sign and date that they have received a hardcopy or note the time and date if a copy is emailed to the tenant. The failure to maintain appliances correctly could result in loss of life, and failure to comply with the regulations could result in an unlimited fine and or a custodial sentence. If a landlord / agent fails to give the tenant a copy of the certificate it can result in problems should you need to evict a tenant, as proof would need to be seen that they were provided with a copy of the certificate. **Please see link to landlord compliance form**
Landlords are required by law to ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe and is maintained in a safe condition throughout the duration of tenancy. New regulations state that an electrical certificate must be carried out by a qualified electrician and issued with every change of tenancy and / or every 5 years, whichever is soonest. You must provide your tenant with a record of any electrical inspections. Again, evidence that the tenant has been given this by getting them to sign and date that they have received a hardcopy or note the time and date if a copy is emailed to the tenant. **Please see link to landlord compliance form**
If any appliances are included in the letting it will be the landlord’s responsibility to ensure they are safe when the property is let. The law may also require the landlord to repair or replace these should they become defective. We advise removing very old or defective appliances from the letting and replacing them as soon as possible. Plug and socket regulations apply and all plugs, leads and sockets must be checked for safety and correctly fused before a tenant moves in.
Where electrical appliances are included you should supply safety instructions to the tenant.
Insure the building
The Landlord should insure the building to cover the costs of any damage from flood or fire.
The landlord should provide the tenant with certain documents such as EPC, How to rent guide and legionnaires risk assessment and complete a signed compliance checklist before moving in. Download our handy checklist / compliance form here. It helps protect the landlord in cases where he/she needs to evict a tenant, as it proves that they have served them with the relevant documents prior to letting.
KeyRing Lettings is a ‘not for profit’ agency, providing a comprehensive letting and management service for landlords and tenants in Mendip. Under our Full Management Service, we will keep you up to date on all new legislations and legal requirements to ensure you’re fully compliant. If you’re thinking of letting your property and don’t know where to start, contact us today.
Updated 14th October 2020