Letting your Home – All the Documents you Need

So you’ve decided you want to rent out one of your properties as a landlord in order to provide a bit of extra income for the future?

While buy-to-let investment opportunities have steadily grown in popularity over the past decade or so, a lot of people don’t realise that becoming a landlord is a full time job and it can be quite stressful. However, the benefits do tend to outweigh the negatives so if you are careful about who you choose to let out to, and if you go through all the proceedings carefully, you should have a relatively easy time in renting out your property.

Here, SSJ Surveyors have compiled a small comprehensive list of some of the essential documents you will need when renting out your property to tenants full time.

EPC

An energy performance certificate is needed in order to buy, rent or sell a property. It is performed upon request and gives an energy efficiency rating to the level of efficiency of the electrical appliances and central heating units throughout the property. Advice will be given as to how your energy efficiency rating can be improved, such as investing in energy saving lightbulbs, but whether or not you choose to make these changes is up to you.

Approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme

This is a scheme in which the deposit given by the tenant is then placed into a ‘safe deposit box’ or account, where the landlord is unable to use it for their own means. It is served as a means of protection and security for both landlord and tenant, which is to be used if any damages occur throughout the tenancy.

Gas Safety Certificate

A Gas safety certificate is required by law for rental accommodations. A Gas Safe Engineer will provide the inspection and issue the certificate which must be provided within the last 12 months in order to be valid for the duration of the tenancy.

PAT for Electrical Appliances

If you market your house or flat as a ‘furnished property’ all electrical appliances supplied must be PAT approved. The PAT or Portable Appliance Test is designed to make sure that all electrical appliances are safe to use and in good or reasonable condition. Landlords have a duty of care to ensure that all electrical appliances are maintained in a safe, working condition throughout the entire tenancy period.

Tenancy Agreement

When renting your property it is important to draw up a detailed tenancy agreement with the help of a professional including clauses for every part of the tenancy, from rent amount and the term of tenancy, right down to maintenance, bills and tenancy responsibilities for recycling and landfill bins. It might sound a little strange but it is important that everything is noted down, as there may be legal consequences later on if you find issue with your tenants.

The tenancy agreement will then be read in full by your tenants, agreed to and signed upon, thereby binding both of you to its contents. It can be referred to in dispute cases should any discrepancies occur.

While you may hit occasional snags in the road, if you request professional advice from experienced landlords and legal advisors, you should have relatively few issues in establishing your property as a rental property. In the short term it can be a stressful investment but if you are truly invested it can be a solid, stable long term investment with an opportunity for development.

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