Here is our top 5 tips to help you to be a model landlord. Whether you’re letting a studio apartment or a 10 bed mansion, this guide will help you stay on the right side of the law.
Find out if you need a landlord licence
Before you look for prospective renters, check with your local council to see if you need a landlord licence to earn rental income from your property. Legislation was introduced in 2006 and some areas have implemented selective licensing to clamp down on rogue landlords.
Stay on top of tenant checks
That means being rigorous with tenant referencing on rental applications to make sure they are reliable and responsible tenants. This tenant screening includes checking their credit eligibility, getting references from their previous landlords and ensuring they have the right to lawfully live and rent in the UK.
Protect your tenant’s deposits
You must protect tenants’ deposits safely in a government-accredited scheme within 30 days of receiving it. And once you’ve done that, you’ll need to give your tenant the Deposit Protection certificate and Prescribed Information.
You have a choice of three schemes: Deposit Protection Service (DPS), MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), who also help deal with deposit disputes over potential damage to the property.
Do your safety checks
You are legally required to have all gas appliances in the property checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer every year – and provide tenants with a Gas Safety Certificate within 28 days of the annual check.But that’s not all. It’s is also a landlord liability that smoke alarms should be fitted on every floor of the property from the start, and carbon monoxide detectors must be in any room where solid fuel, such as wood or charcoal, is used. Test both alarms on the first day of the tenancy.
Draw up a tenancy agreement
Whilst it is not a legal requirement, having a tenancy agreement between both landlord and tenant is important so that all terms are written out clearly and there is little chance of disputing agreed terms. This helps protect both parties.