Landlords Checklist

Creative Commons License photo credit: NobMouse When renting a property for the first time or when new
tenants move to your existing rental there is a huge list of tasks that must be
completed. Here we’ve provided a check list for all landlords when renting out
to new tenants.

Get references

At the very least you should ensure that you obtain
employment details from your tenants. It may also be advisable to get references
from previous landlords. Make sure you actually check the employment details;
many landlords don’t to this rendering the process null and void.

Make sure you’re insured

All landlords should make sure they have appropriate landlords
in place to protect against any and all eventualities when
renting out their property.

Check guarantors

If you insist on guarantors being in place for your tenants,
make sure you obtain their name and current address (previous if they have
moved in the last year) as this will enable you to run credit checks.

Gather bank statements

If your tenant is self-employed or not currently in work you
may wish to request copies of their bank statements to make sure they can pay
the rent.

Take and protect a deposit

If you are happy with the documents provided by your
tenants, the next step is to take a deposit. Most landlords will insist on one
month’s rent. Once you’ve taken this you must protect it in a
government-supported deposit scheme, providing the tenant with details of the
scheme within 14 days.

Draft and sign the tenancy agreement

This is the most important document at your disposal and so
must be done properly. Make sure this is drafted specifically to the property
and includes the names of your tenants. This should then be signed and dated by
you and each of the tenants.

Conduct an inventory

At the start of any tenancy you should conduct an inventory
of the property. Make a list of the items within the property and any existing
damage. You may also wish to take photographs, as may your tenants. The
document should then be signed by both parties, with each taking a copy.

Inform the council

You should inform the council once the tenancy has been
signed. You should pass on the names of your new tenants and the date the
agreement was signed to the council as this will prevent any disagreements
about any potential outstanding council tax at either end of the tenancy. If
the tenants are entitled to any council tax discount, they should inform the
council directly.