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Essential Checks for Landlords Before Renting Out Your Property

Renting out a property can be a profitable venture (especially if you seek the rent guarantee route), but it requires careful preparation and due diligence to ensure a smooth and successful rental experience. As a landlord, there are several key aspects you should check before handing over the keys to your new tenants. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get started.


1. Ensure Your Property Meets Legal Requirements


First and foremost, make sure your property complies with all relevant legal standards and regulations. This includes:


- Gas Safety: Arrange for an annual gas safety inspection by a registered Gas Safe engineer. You must provide tenants with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate.

- Electrical Safety: Have a qualified electrician conduct an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) every five years. Ensure all electrical installations and appliances are safe to use.

- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): Obtain an EPC rating of E or above before you can legally rent out your property. Provide tenants with a copy of the certificate.

- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Install smoke alarms on each floor and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with fuel-burning appliances. Test them regularly to ensure they’re working properly.


2. Conduct Necessary Repairs and Maintenance


Before renting out your property, it’s crucial to address any outstanding repairs and maintenance tasks. Check for:


- Structural Integrity: Inspect the roof, walls, and foundation for any signs of damage or leaks.

- Plumbing: Ensure there are no leaks, and that the water pressure and temperature are consistent.

- Heating and Cooling Systems: Make sure the heating and cooling systems are functioning efficiently and have been serviced recently.

- Windows and Doors: Verify that all windows and doors open, close, and lock securely. We require window catches too.

- General Cleanliness: Clean the property thoroughly to make it welcoming for new tenants.


3. Create a Detailed Inventory


A detailed inventory or condition report protects both you and your tenants. Document the condition of the property and its contents before the tenants move in. Include:


- Photos and Descriptions: Take clear photos and provide detailed descriptions of each room, including furniture, fixtures, and appliances.

- Meter Readings: Record the readings for gas, electricity, and water meters to avoid disputes over utility bills.


4. Screen Potential Tenants Thoroughly


If you are going alone, finding reliable tenants is crucial for a smooth rental experience. Conduct comprehensive background checks to assess:


- Credit History: Verify their credit score and check for any outstanding debts or financial issues.

- Rental History: Contact previous landlords to inquire about the tenant’s payment history, behavior, and the condition in which they left the property.

- Employment Verification: Confirm their employment status and income to ensure they can afford the rent.

5. Prepare a Robust Tenancy Agreement


A well-drafted tenancy agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement, protecting both parties. Include:


- Rent and Deposit Details: Specify the rent amount, due date, and deposit amount.

- Maintenance Responsibilities: Clarify who is responsible for maintenance and repairs.

- Rules and Regulations: Outline any rules regarding pets, smoking, and noise levels.

- Termination Clauses: Detail the notice period and conditions for terminating the lease.


6. Protect the Tenant’s Deposit


By law, you must protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) within 30 days of receiving it. Provide the tenant with the prescribed information about the scheme.


7. Arrange Adequate Landlord Insurance


Standard homeowner’s insurance might not cover rental properties. Secure landlord insurance to protect against potential risks, including property damage, loss of rental income, and liability claims.


8. Inform Your Mortgage Lender


If your property is mortgaged, inform your lender of your intention to rent it out. Some mortgage agreements have specific terms regarding rental properties.


Renting out a property involves more than just finding tenants. By ensuring your property is legally compliant, well-maintained, and secure, and by conducting thorough tenant checks and preparing a solid tenancy agreement, you can create a positive rental experience for both you and your tenants. Taking these steps will help safeguard your investment and foster a successful landlord-tenant relationship.

You could of course choose Apex Housing Solutions as your tenant, we will not only guarantee your rent but will also keep you up to date with compliance, manage the property for free and cover most tenant related maintenance costs.

Call us on 0203 030 4241 today!


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