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Important things to consider when becoming a residential landlord

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

When handled properly, becoming a landlord is great for financial stability. Our latest blog is a checklist of key considerations before you take on any tenants.

The property

  • Will your property be a house in multiple occupation? If so, there are specific regulatory requirements you will need to follow.

  • Is the property fit for habitation? There are strict guidelines on what you must have in a property for it to be fit to live in.

  • Do you have gas and electrical safety certificates?

  • Have you obtained an Energy Performance Certificate, and have you provided copies to your prospective tenant?

  • Have you informed your mortgage provider? Your mortgage company must be told that the house is being let and will not be occupied by you.

  • Have you obtained landlords insurance and does that include injury to the tenants or any visitors?

  • Do you have a record (preferably photographic) of the state of the property when the property is let?

The deposit

  • You will need to register with a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and ensure that you comply with the obligation to provide your tenant with the correct information about where their deposit is held.

  • Have you considered how much deposit you want to take? It is worth considering holding a six-week deposit. Many tenants do not pay the last month’s rent and if there is some damage to the property as well you want to make sure you hold back enough.

  • Have you considered holding an additional deposit? For example, if you are going to allow pets living in the house, the carpets will need to be cleaned throughout on the tenants exit?

The tenant

  • Who is going to be your tenant? If a couple are taking the property it would be a good idea to ensure both are named tenants on the agreement.

  • A prudent landlord will take references and may even do a surprise visit to their prospective tenant’s current property.

  • You should always take identification of all tenants.

  • Discuss with the tenant how many people will be staying in the house. Remember, the more people there are, the more wear and tear there will be.

  • Next of kin information is very useful to have. This is so you know who to contact if you are genuinely concerned about your tenant, but also if the tenant leaves the property without notice, you will have another point of contact.

The agreement

  • You should have an agreement which is properly drafted.

  • What sort of agreement do you want: Assured Shorthold Tenancy? Licence? Long lease? How a tenant holds the premises will affect what notice you have to give to evict them, or otherwise regain possession.

  • How long do you want the tenancy to run for?

  • Will you allow animals?

  • Will you allow smoking?

  • Consider whether you would like a guarantor for the rent, plus make sure the guarantee documents are properly executed.

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