Agency Check

Your guide to being a Landlord

To let your property safely and successfully there are a number of measures and guidelines in place to follow.

HEALTH & SAFETY

Furniture and furnishings

All furniture and furnishings must comply with the Fire safety regulations. Items that should be checked:

  • Beds/Matresses/Futons and Sofa Beds
  • Children's Furniture
  • Garden Furniture that can be used inside the property
  • Cushions/Pillows

Items that are exempt from the Furniture and furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Amendment Regulations 1993.

  • Duvets/Pillow Cases/Blankets
  • Carpets and Curtains

GAS SAFETY

Landlords are required by law to service all gas related equipment once every 12 months. The landlord must also provide the tenants with an annual copy of a 'Gas Safety Certificate' to be signed and issued by a Gas Safe Engineer. A copy of this certificate must be issued to your tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out. If you do not provide your tenant with a copy of this Certificate you will be breaking the law.

ELECTRICAL WIRING

All electrical wiring within the property must be safe and in good working order throughout. You must also ensure you have enough sockets to meet the needs of the tenant. Any wiring older than 15 years must be checked annually.

TENANCY AGREEMENT

The tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between you and the tenant(s). It outlines both parties' rights and obligations.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST)

The AST is the most common form of tenancy agreement and is for tenancies that are between six months and three years (However, should the tenant wish to renew after three years this is still possible). Anything longer than three years will require a deed to be drawn up by a Solicitor.

Requirements linked to an AST

  • The tenant(s) must be an individual (not a company).
  • The property must be the main home of the occupant.
  • The property must be let as a separate accommodation.

The AST agreements usually include:

  • Landlord's Name/Tenant(s) Name/The Address of the property being let.
  • The date for which the tenancy wil commence.
  • The duration of the tenancy.
  • The amount of rent payable and the frequency of when the rent will be due.
  • Any charges included or excluded and what needs to be paid by the tenant.
  • The notice period which both parties need to give each other before the tenancy is terminated.

INVENTORY

Having an inventory performed is very important and demands full attention and thorough detail. The inventory details the contents and condition of the property you are leaving behind for the tenant(s) to use before they move in. The inventory report will also include any existing blemishes to the interior of the property.

It is recommended that the Landlord or the inventory clerk schedules regular quarterly checks to gain an update on the property conditions.


DEPOSITS

It is obligated by law that any deposit paid by a tenant must be protected by the Landlordor property agent/manager. Failure to do so can lead to the Landlord having to pay up to three times the value of the deposit.

Deposits must be registered in a Government initiated scheme (there are two types):

1- Custodial Scheme

The deposit is held by the scheme for the duration of the agreement and repaid at the end of the tenancy. It is also free to use. Within 14 days of being paid the deposit, the landlord or agent must provide details to the tenant of how the deposit is protected.

2- Insurance- based Scheme

The deposit is held by the scheme for the duration of the agreement and repaid at the end of the tenancy. However, instead of passing the deposit directly to the scheme, the landlord retains the deposit and pays an insurance premium to the scheme.

Within 14 days of being paid the deposit, the landlord or agent must provide details to the tenant of how the deposit is protected.


MOVE IN PREPARATION CHECKLIST

  • Clean the property and any furnishings thoroughly
  • Redirect your mail
  • Arrange for the Council Tax to be paid by the tenant
  • Prepare the correct number of sets of keys (One per tenant)
  • Prepare final meter readings and give them to the tenants
  • Complete and sign an inventory with the tenants on move in day
  • Provide tenants with a Gas Safety Certificate on the move in day
  • Explain how to use any safety equipment
  • Provide emergency contact details