When you let out your property, the tenancy will automatically be a shorthold tenancy unless you specify another tenancy agreement in writing. This means that you have the right to get your property back after 6 months, that you can charge rent, and you can get your property back before the 6-month agreement if your tenant owes you 8 or more weeks of rent.
As a landlord, you should make sure that all of your tenants have signed a written tenancy agreement prior to living at the property. With this formal contracted agreement, you’ll be able to list clauses that protect your property against damage or misuse. You cannot discriminate against your tenant because of their race, sex, sexuality, religion, or any disabilities.
It’s best to have a deposit scheme in place when you’re letting out your property. In fact, the tenancy deposit protection scheme came into place on December 1st, 2017. The scheme means that your tenant’s deposit is safeguarded, and there are procedures in place in case of any issues at the end of their tenancy. A deposit also keeps your property safe while your tenant is living there, as it deters them from any damage to the property.
It is the landlord’s duty to keep the structure of the property in good repair. This includes any walls, floors, the roof and any windows (including frames). Landlords are also responsible for fixed heaters, electrical wiring, and gas piping in the property, as well as repairs for plumbing, basins, sinks, toilets, and baths.
The safety of gas installations and appliances are also the landlord’s responsibility. The landlord must arrange for all safety checks and any necessary work to be carried out on appliances at least once every 12 months. You must keep a full record of any inspection dates, and a copy of this record must be given to your tenant.
It’s advisable that you have a full inventory of your property to give to your tenant(s) before they move in. This is a list of furniture and other contents of the property that are available for the tenant to use, or as part of the property. The inventory should list everything provided in the property for, with a description of the items.
Before you begin letting your property, you need to be thoroughly prepared. First impressions count for a lot when it comes to renting or selling a property, so it’s vital your property looks its best for all potential tenants.
The first thing a potential tenant sees is the exterior of a property, so you should focus on optimising its appearance. Make sure all aspects of your property meet all of the required standards to give you the best chance of finding great right tenants who are happy to pay the price you’ve asked for. Next, move on to the interior, and make sure that all rooms look spacious and clean. Check the surrounding property market for rented properties and stay within that price range. You aren’t likely to find many potential tenants if you set your prices too high.