Checklist owner: Is the rent of your home ready? If you think there is a growing list of things you need to do to prepare your home for rent, you are right. The regulations for owners and rental properties have increased in the last decade. Legislative changes have also been made in other areas, such as data protection, that have affected owners. Confused about what to do? We have created this checklist to use as a simple reminder whenever you allow it.
Gas safety certificate
A gas safety certificate is a legal requirement for every rental object and must be renewed every year. It shows that your gas boiler, smoke ducts and appliances have been checked by a qualified gas safety engineer.
You must ensure that your home has smoke detectors in common areas, including corridors and breaks.
You have no legal obligation to install a carbon monoxide detector unless you have a solid fuel burning device (such as a wood burning stove), but it is a good practice to do this and many owners do that.
If you leave your home furnished, you must also check that the fire safety labels on soft furniture (such as beds and couches) are intact every time you rent again.
Information about the property.
An EPC certificate in London or energy Performance certificate gives your home an energy efficiency rating so that your tenants have a good idea of how much your bills can be. It is a legal requirement to display it every time you rent (or sell) and it takes ten years. A qualified advisor must issue an EPC in the EPC register.
The guide for renting
You must provide the tenant with a copy of the government’s How to Rent guide, which gives you information about your legal obligations and yours. If you do not do this, you cannot remove a tenant in a secured lease using the error-free evacuation process in section 21. Although it appears that section 21 is being abolished, the How to Rent manual is probably in a certain form.
Protection for you and your tenant
An inventory makes it clear to you and the tenant in which state the property was at the start of the lease. It is unlikely that you can make a deduction for damage without inventory: inventory is the first thing a rental court will investigate if there is a dispute.
You must protect your tenant’s down payment in one of the three available schedules within 30 days of your payment and provide you with a certificate that shows which schedule you have used.
The tenant reference is not a guarantee that you will not get bad tenants, but it will help a lot to avoid them. A credit check can tell you if they have been sentenced by the district court against them, a bank statement check can help you see if they can pay the rent and have income, and the landlord reference helps you find damage beforehand antisocial traits or behavior.
Insurance from the owner
There is no legal requirement for you to have landlord insurance, but it is unlikely that the standard construction and content insurance will be valid even if you rent your property temporarily or with family members. And lenders usually require purchase mortgages to rent. We don’t have to tell you that it’s not a good idea not to have insurance for a value of hundreds of thousands …
With a lease you can determine the terms of the lease. Without one, you still have a lease in legal terms, it’s just not your terms.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which entered into force in 2018, means that landlords must now take steps to keep tenant data secure. You must include a privacy statement with your rental agreement and ensure that you only have data that have a legitimate reason.
Click here for Gas Safety Certificate