First Time Landlord Checklist

Landlord Checklist:

The private rental sector plays a huge role in providing comfortable homes for people, so having access to the right information is important, especially for first time landlords who may need guidance to be able to run a successful business.

PropertyQuoteDirect understands that becoming a first time landlord can be daunting which is why we have created a basic checklist that’s easy to understand.

Click on the image to see our points or read our article below for more details:

1. Check References & Guarantors

To reduce your risks, ask prospective tenants for a reference from their previous landlords. At the very least you should ask them for their employment details so you know that they’ll be able to pay the rent.

Asking tenants for a guarantor will also give you a measure of financial security. A guarantor is anyone from outside of the tenancy who signs an agreement to take on liability throughout the tenancy. Usually landlords who let to students will ask for a guarantor as they don’t have a full time income to support themselves.

Another important point is to actually check or follow up with the references! Some landlords don’t – making the process quite pointless.

2. Draft & Sign the Tenancy

A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and the tenants which should relate to the property, include the names of all the tenants in the property and are signed by both parties. We advise not to make the fixed term more than 6 months unless you trust and know the tenants well. Make sure to also include whose responsibility it is for bills and council tax.

3. Take and Protect Deposit

Even though taking a deposit is not compulsory, it is highly recommended and typically between 4-6 weeks’ rent. The law requires that deposits must be placed in a government supported scheme within 30 days of receiving it. This is to ensure that the tenants will get their deposit back if they pay the bills and rent, do not damage the property and meet the terms in the tenancy agreement that was signed.

4. Conduct an Inventory

To avoid any disputes, make a list of all the items in the property including appliances, furniture, carpets, curtains and kitchenware – as well as recording the condition that everything is in. Taking photos of the contents is also a wise decision. This should be signed by you and all tenants on moving in day.

5. Inform the Council of Tenant’s Name

We advise to let the council know of all the tenants living in the property to prevent disagreements over council tax in the future. Even though the majority of tenants are trustworthy some people may just forget or not realise that they have to do it. You should also advise the utility companies of the names of your new tenants.

6. Leave your Contact Details with the Tenants

Another tip is to provide your contact details with the tenants even if you are renting the property through a lettings agency, so they know how to contact you in an event of an emergency.

Landlord Don’ts

Don’t leave problems to grow. Speak with your tenant as early as possible if there are any issues and if relationships do break down then speak with your local authority who may be able to help both parties. Remember, do not try and evict your tenant by throwing out their possessions or changing the locks – this is illegal and you could be prosecuted.

You should also keep up the maintenance of your property as if it contains serious health or safety issues the tenant and local authority could take action against you.

Being a landlord can be hard work but there are many advantages including receiving an income, having a long term security and having the flexibility to run a successful rental business. Good luck!

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