Landlord Checklist: Things to Do Before Letting Your Property

Oakheart Property
From extra income to long-term security, there are so many benefits that come with renting out a property. Depending on the type of property and the location, you may also find that the value increases overtime. For this reason, people often view owning property as an investment. Despite the huge benefits associated with being a landlord, you’ll find that there are plenty of responsibilities and regulations that you need to be aware of too. With so much to put in place, we understand that the process of letting your property can feel a little overwhelming. Here at Oakheart Property, we have a team of property experts that can support you through the letting process. To get you started, we’ve compiled some information on how to prepare for tenants. 
Are you contemplating renting out your property in Colchester or the surrounding area? We can help! Get in touch with a member of our team today. 

Eliminate Hazards 

It’s important to ensure that your property is safe and free from any health & safety hazards. Electrics and gas are just some of the elements of a property that can become hazardous. You must make sure that all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained. With gas appliances, you’ll need to organise maintenance inspections carried out by a registered engineer. Following an annual gas safety check, you’ll receive a Landlord Gas Safety Record. This report is also commonly referred to as a CP12 Certificate and should be presented to your tenants. As a landlord, you must make sure that all gas appliances, pipework, chimneys and flues are kept in a safe condition. Whilst appliances owned by tenants may not be your responsibility, it’s up to you to check the safety of any connecting flues and pipes. 

Similarly, you must make sure that all electrical appliances and equipment are kept in safe condition. It’s your responsibility to ensure that all relevant safety checks and maintenance is carried out. The type and frequency of checks, inspections and testing needed will be dependent on the type of appliance, the environment is kept in and the results of previous checks. 

We strongly recommend checking your property for any other hazardous elements and eliminating these before the tenancy begins.

Fire Safety

Following the fire safety regulations set out by law can not only protect your property but can save lives. It’s a legal requirement to install and test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Current government guidelines state that landlords must check the required alarms are in working order on the first day of the tenancy. If you’re renting out a property in a purpose-built block of flats or a property that has been adapted into flats, then it’s important that you follow the set fire regulations for these. 

Get a Energy Performance Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. In England, it’s a legal requirement that landlords order an EPC for potential tenants before marketing the property. You can find out more about Energy Performance Certificates here

Protect Your Tenant’s Deposit

If you’re renting out your property on an assured shorthold tenancy, then landlords must place tenants’ deposits in a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. These government-backed schemes protect the tenancy deposit and ensure that the tenant will receive it back if they meet the terms of the tenancy agreement, do not cause any damage to the property and pay the rent and bills. You, or your letting agent, must put your tenants’ deposit into the scheme within 30 days of receiving it. One the tenancy has finished, the deposit must be returned to the tenant within 10 days of you both agreeing how much they’ll get back. 

Right to Rent

In England, it’s a legal requirement to ensure that everyone living in the property has the legal right to rent. Before the start of a new tenancy, it’s important that you check all tenants aged 18 and over. 

How to Rent Checklist 

You should present tenants with a copy of the ‘How to Rent’ checklist at the beginning of their tenancy. This document provides tenants with detailed information about what happens at each stage of the rental process. 

Financial Responsibilities 

It’s extremely important that you check that you are aware of all the financial responsibilities that come with renting out a property. 

Thinking about renting out your property in Colchester? Get in touch with us at Oakheart Property and we’ll guide you through the process. We have a team of highly-experienced sales and lettings agents across Essex and Suffolk who will be more than happy to help with all your property needs. 

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