Starting a tenancy
Government Redress Scheme
If you are letting your property through a letting agent, you must check that the agent is registered with an approved Gov.uk – Government Redress Scheme.
Getting your property ready to let
You must ensure the property meets current standards. The property should be safe and secure, free from disrepair or damage, heated and dry. All repairs to the property should be carried out before the tenant moves in. If you have a mortgage on the property, you must obtain permission from your lender before letting the property. Further advice can be found on the Gov.uk website.
What tenancy should I use?
Once a tenant is found you must compile an inventory of the content and condition of the property. The tenant will need to confirm they agree with the content of the inventory. Both parties will need to keep a copy as it may be necessary to refer to these documents, if there are any disagreements during the tenancy.
Assured Shorthold Tenancies
Assured Shorthold tenancies are the most common type of rental agreement. It provides a landlord with rights and responsibilities. It will hopefully create a positive relationship between you and your tenant. Check out the Gov.uk – Model Agreement for a Shorthold Assured Tenancy for a copy of a tenancy and advice on what term you may wish to set your tenancy.
Right to Rent
Landlords and letting agents must check that any prospective tenant as the right to rent a property, before letting to them. Landlords and letting agents can face a civil penalty if found guilty of illegally renting a property, with fines up to £3,000. Advice on how to check if a tenant or lodger can rent your residential property can be found on the website: Gov.uk – Landlords right to rent checks guide.
What’s the rule on Pets?
The suggested model agreement prohibits the tenant from keeping pets in the property, without the landlords consent. However, you must not be unreasonable. You cannot exercise a blanket ban on pets or should not turn down a request without good reason. For example; a landlord may consider a large dog would be reasonably like to damage the property, whereas a smaller pet may not. If you consent to allow a pet, you may wish an additional deposit is paid by the tenant. This must be protected within an authorised tenancy deposit scheme.
Information you must provide to your tenant before they move in?
Before a tenant moves in you must provide them with the following items. These are minimum legislative requirements. Failure to comply could lead to enforcement action being taken against you.
- Gas Safety Certificate – This must be provided on an annual basis if there is gas in the property. You must present the new tenant with the most recent Gas Safety Certificate, no more than 12 months old.
- Deposit Paperwork – All tenancy deposits must be placed in a Government approved scheme. Read about Tenancy Deposit Protection on the Gov.uk website.
- Energy Performance Certificate – You must provide an Energy Performance Certificate must be provided on a five yearly basis. A copy of the current certificate must be produced at the start of each tenancy.
- A Record of any electrical appliance inspections – If you are providing any electrical appliances, they must be safe. A competent electrician must carry out an a Portable Appliance Test annually. We also recommend that you provide the tenant with a copy of an Electrical Inspection report, to evidence the electrics are in good order before the tenant moves in.
Home Improvement Team, New Oxford House, 2 George Street, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HB
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