There is so much more to leasing a property than dropping off the keys and letting your tenants get on with it, it’s an ongoing job and a relationship that will evolve over time. That’s why it’s important this relationship gets off on the right foot.
When taking a new tenant (or tenants) through the initiation stage of their rental journey, there are a number of documents and certificates that are generally expected to be provided.
Here, we’ll go through not only the legally required documents but those that will put you a step ahead of many other landlords in the game. Consider it a checklist for landlords operating in 2020 and beyond.
How to rent
By law, every landlord must provide their tenants with a copy of the Government’s How to Rent checklist. This can be found on the Gov.UK website and downloaded for free so it should be your first port of call.
Any property containing gas appliances needs to be checked by a gas safety engineer every year who will supply you with a gas safety certificate. Any documents referencing the date of the last check should also be handed over to the tenants so they know when to expect or book a boiler check.
As far as electrics go, meanwhile, if the property has an EICR (electrical installation condition report) certificate, this must also be handed over. This is a document that confirms any electrical work was carried out by an approved and qualified electrician.
If the electrics haven’t been changed in many years there is unlikely to be a record of one, but if they have been worked on in the recent past you should have one to hand.
Any UK home that’s let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy will need to have the initial deposit held in a tenancy deposit scheme that’s been backed by the Government. Once the deposit has been confirmed, you’ll get a piece of paperwork confirming it that will need to be shared with the tenant within 30 days of the start of the lease.
Tenancy deposit schemes are all approved third-party programs that offer protection not only for the tenant but the landlord as well. This is crucial, as while we all hope that tenant/landlord relationships are always civil, this is not always the case.
Energy performance certificate
Most people will have seen an EPC at some point but might not actually realise what it represents. This is a document that ranks your property from A to G in terms of how efficient it is, with landlords legally unable to rent out properties ranked E or higher from 2018 onwards.
Smoke alarms must be installed on every floor of your property and in any room where there are devices that burn fuel you must also have a carbon monoxide detector installed. There are no documents or landlord certificates to consider here, per-say, but it’s a consideration you’ll definitely want to make.
For safety, you should also ensure that all appliances provided for the tenants are deemed safe and have been checked in at least the last 5 years.
Of course, you are also obligated to provide your address, phone number and email address at a bare minimum. This is so they know where to look in case of an emergency and so they have a direct line of contact with you at all times.