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Research and legals

The ultimate new landlord checklist

When you’re renting out a property, there’s lots of boxes to check to ensure you’re both abiding by the law, and legally protected in the event things don’t go to plan.

We’ve put together this handy checklist to help you get everything sorted. Not all of them are legal ‘must-do’s, but we think you could benefit – financially and in time or effort saved – by doing everything we’ve listed here.

Print it off and complete it, every time you start a new tenancy or renew an existing one.

First things first
  • Conduct a safety check (look for loose carpets, broken stair rails, trailing cables, etc.)
  • Repair any faults
  • Complete a deep clean (oven, carpets, sofas etc.)
  • Remove any items that are of value, or could be considered dangerous
  • Check for damp (using a damp meter, if possible)
Safety and security
  • Obtain a 12-month Gas Certificate (if the property has a gas supply or burns any solid fuel)
  • Provide a copy to the tenant
  • Obtain a 5-year Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) (compulsory in Scotland only)
  • Provide a copy to the tenant
  • Check that all doors and windows lock properly, and have keys
  • Provide emergency contact details
  • Provide fire evacuation guidance and equipment (e.g. fire ladders)
  • Fit and/or test carbon monoxide detector and smoke detectors
  • Houseshares: get a PAT test for each portable electrical items
    • Explain/provide diagrams outlining the location of:
    • Electricity and gas meters
    • Alarms
    • Stop taps
    • Fuses and trip switches
Legal obligations
  • Complete an immigration Right-to-Rent check (England only)
  • Arrange buildings insurance
  • Register as a landlord (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland only)
  • Houseshares: Register with the local council and obtain a licence
  • Notify your mortgage provider, insurer and freeholder (if necessary)
  • Notify the local council (for council tax purposes)
Paperwork
  • Complete tenant referencing/credit check
  • Conduct an inventory
  • Complete and sign a tenancy agreement
  • Provide a copy to the tenant
  • Provide the tenant with a copy of the ‘How to Rent’ guide
Energy Performance Certificate
  • Check the expiry date
  • Get a new one (if necessary)
  • Provide a copy to the tenant
  • If tenancy expiring after April 2020: Complete work to bring the property up to an E rating
Money and bills
  • Place any deposit into a deposit protection scheme
  • Arrange a standing order for rental income
  • Notify HMRC and register for Income Tax self-assessment
  • Take meter readings and update utility suppliers
Further reading

Find out more about gas, electricity and fire safety regulations affecting landlords here.

 Here's an in-depth explanation of the energy efficiency rules for landlords.

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