Landlord checklist: what to do before you let
When letting a property, it’s good to use a landlord checklist to ensure you complete certain aspects of the lettings journey at the right time.
Protect yourself: many of these must be done before tenants move in. That’s why online estate agent easyProperty has put together this landlord checklist.
Download your landlord checklist
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.
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.
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. If your property comes with furniture, it should be flame resistant. For more information about fire safety, look at our Landlord’s Guide to Fire Safety.
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 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.
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 appliances before tenants move in and tick this off your landlord checklist.
Your landlord checklist: we highly recommend…
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Have you arranged an inventory?
To learn more about inventories, read our guide: ‘A property inventory can save you thousands’.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
There you have it: your landlord checklist of things to do before tenants move in. For more landlord advice and tips, take a look at our guide: ‘My landlord obligations: what are they?’