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Tenancy forms checklist

You are just about to let your buy-to-let. So what are the essential bits of paper work that you need at the start off the tenancy.
Here is a brief checklist of all the essential letting forms you may need at the start of a tenancy:

1. Tenancy Agreement

The tenancy agreement is obviously key. It sets out all the aspects of the tenancy such as the rent, due date and deposit amount as well as your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. Whilst you’re not required by law to have a tenancy agreement we always recommend that you do. This way both you and your tenant should avoid any confusion about the terms of the tenancy agreement.

2. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Landlords are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate to allow them to market their property under the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (2007/991). Failure to do so could result in a £200 fine by Trading Standards.

3. Property Inventory

The property inventory used to be cobbled together by many landlords "on the back of an envelope". No longer! It is important that landlords create a clear property inventory with the arrival of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) , you need a good one if you are to stand any chance if you have to go up against the Arbitrator at the end of the tenancy.

4. Landlord insurance

You don’t need it unless your buy-to-let mortgage company has specified it as a legal requirement; but do you really want to risk your valuable buy-to-let burning down and then having nothing but of a worthless pile of bricks? Here is how to get 5 star landlord insurance.

5. Tenant reference

Having your tenant referenced is no guarantee that they will keep on paying your rent. However, what it will tell you is if they are in debt, or have defaulted on previous credit agreements and accumulated a collection of County Court Judgements (CCJs). Here’s a top tip to find out more about your tenants financial situation. If they don’t agree perhaps you should consider walking away from the tenancy!

6. Rental Guarantee Insurance

You have insured your property. Do you need to take out rental guarantee insurance to guarantee the rent?

7. Landlord Licence

For most landlords luckily we don’t need a landlord licence (have a read of our views ). However, some councils have their own licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). This means that you maybe required to “fork out” many hundreds of pounds just to be able to let your property legally.

8. Gas Safety Certificate (GSC)

Landlords require to have a valid Gas Safety Certificate if the rental property contains a gas appliance of any kind.The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe. This means they need an up to date GSC with a copy available for the tenant to view.

9. Electrical Safety Certificate

There is no requirement for an electrical safety certificate but some letting agents recommend that a property is PAT tested regularly to establish that all electrical appliances and circuits are safe. Read more on Electrical Safety Requirements

10. Manuals and instructions

If your property has any kind of appliance or equipment it is always a good idea to have the instructions handy. It could save you an unnecessary visit or pointless phone calls.

11. Tenant Manual

Some landlords swear by a tenant manual. It in no way supersedes the tenancy agreement. See it as an addendum. It lays out your personal approach to the tenancy and also has important contact details and information all in one document that the tenant can refer to.

12. TV Licence

Absurdly, a landlord may be required to have a TV licence even when it’s the tenants that are watching your TV. Have a look at our clarification on the TV licence legislation.

So don’t be caught out by not having the right forms to let your property. Check them off against our tenancy checklist.

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