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Becoming a Landlord

Many people are turning to the property market for a second income by becoming landlords.

However, there are many people that do not know of, or comply with, the Housing Legislation. This can result in financial penalties and in some cases prosecution.

To help you, we have put together some landlord checklists to ensure that you are fully compliant when renting out your property. The checklists give you an overview of what you need to do to rent out your home and when ending a tenancy.

More information including useful templates can be found on the GOV.UK website.


Starting a Tenancy

Tenancy Agreement:

You should provide your tenants with a copy of the tenancy agreement for their review prior to signing. Print two copies of the agreement, one for each of you to keep.

Other Documents

You must give your tenants a copy of the gas safety certificate, energy performance certificate and a copy of the Government's "How to Rent Checklist". You cannot serve a valid section 21 notice if these
have not been provided to your tenant

Right to Rent Checks

You must check that all adults living at the property (whether named on the tenancy agreement or not) have the right to rent in the UK. For guidance please visit Gov.UK - right to rent.

Deposit:

The deposit must, by law, must be protected with a government approved deposit protection scheme and the tenant sent the prescribed information within 30 calendar days of receipt. There can be large financial (and other) penalties for non-compliance.

Electrical Safety

Landlords must ensure all wiring, installations and appliances they supply are safe. Checks by a qualified electrician every 5 years are recommended.

Rent:

The tenants will need your bank details so that they can arrange a standing order for the rent.

Inventory:

An inventory is strongly recommended and is the best way to protect the deposit against damage done to the property. You should provide the tenant with a copy of the inventory and schedule of condition.

Safety Installations

Smoke alarms must be installed on every floor used as living accommodation. Carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance. Check that they are working on the first day of the tenancy.

Property Details

You should give the tenant relevant information about the property and its installations. Let them know about any restrictions that you are required to comply with (such as head lease or insurance restrictions), so that the tenant can also comply with these

White Goods Provision

If you supply white good with your rental property, you will be obligated to ensure that all appliances are in good working order. You will also be legally responsible for any repairs or replacement of those items.

Emergency Contact Details

You should provide your tenant with details of any property maintenance cover you have and any other contact details for use in the event of an emergency.

Mortgage

Check that the let complies with the conditions of your mortgage.

Insurance

You should always consider a landlord insurance policy.

Update Utilities and the Council

You should inform the council of the change of tenant. You should also provide the utilities with the new tenant details as well as the meter readings from the first day of the tenancy.


Ending a Tenancy

Tenancy agreement

Check the tenancy agreement to determine how much notice is required, how to serve the notice and check whether it contains a break clause to allow for early termination.

Other Documents:

Ensure a copy of the gas safety certificate, energy performance certificate and a copy of the Government's "How to Rent Checklist" were or have been issued before serving notice.

Check that an Improvement Notice or Remedial Notice has not been served within the last six months as unable to serve notice within a six months period following action.

Deposit

Ensure the deposit was protected with a government-approved deposit protection scheme and the tenant sent the prescribed information. If the deposit has not been protected - return the deposit in full to the tenant before serving notice.

The Notice

  • Section 21 notices must be issued on the prescribed Form 6A.
    • The Notice must give a minimum of 2 months' and it cannot be served within the first four months' of the tenancy.
    • Once served, the notice will be valid for four months' from the date of the expiry of the notice.
  • Section 8 notices must be issued on the prescribed Form 3.
    • Can be used within fixed term of tenancy when there are mandatory grounds for eviction such as rent arrears of 2 months/ 8 weeks which must remain at the time of service/ court hearing.
    • Evidence is required.
    • Must give a minimum of 2 weeks or 2 months depending on the grounds on which the notice is being issued.
    • Once served, the notice is valid for 12 months

Serving the Notice

Failure to evidence the serving of the notice could result in the court striking out your possession claim if the tenant claims that they have not received it.

  • Serve in person and evidence proof - either take witness or photograph being posted
  • If joint tenants - serve both parties
  • Send recorded delivery and keep proof of postage/ tracking information

Obtaining Possession

Possession proceedings can commence if the tenant has not vacated the property by the time the notice has expired. Only a judge can grant final possession of the property. Without this, even after the expiry of the
notice, any action to remove the tenant will be done so illegally.


Get in Touch

If you have any queries about any of the above please contact us on 01803 861259 or via email at Seamoor.Lettings@swdevon.gov.uk

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