4 Things to Check Before Letting your Property
There are many reasons to get excited if you own a buy-to-let property. After all, letting it provides the chance to earn regular income. However, as with any money-earning ventures, certain elements need to be taken into consideration before renting out your property.
You want the process to run smoothly, from making sure your rental home is move-in ready to finalising particulars in the AST. It’s vital that everything is in order before you let your property, and you don’t miss any critical steps.
Much like our Moving In Tenant Edition article, we’ve put together four things that every landlord should check before letting out their property. Read on, and make sure that you have all bases covered when it comes to renting out your buy-to-let property.
You’ve tackled Health and Safety
Safety is clearly of the utmost importance when you let your property, and it’s one of the first tasks that any landlord should tackle. You are responsible for the condition of your buy-to-let as well as the safety of your tenants while they live there. As a landlord, you are responsible for making sure that:
- Furnished buy-to-lets meet the furniture and furnishing safety regulations
- The property is equipped with a minimum of one smoke alarm on each floor
- A carbon monoxide alarm is also in place for any room that has appliances that burn solid fuel
- A Gas Safe engineer checks the property to see if it’s safe from any gas leaks
- An EPC is provided to state the property’s energy performance
- A water safety check is performed on the property
The property is move-in ready
Cleaning is vital, especially if you are doing an apartment turnover or it has recently been refurbished, and the builders have just finished. A professional clean will most likely be needed, with each room given considerable attention.
Tenants expect to move into a spotless property. While the previous tenant will be tasked with hiring the professional cleaners when they move out, it’s your responsibility to check that everything is cleaned properly before the new renters move in.
You’ve checked the AST
The AST (Assured Tenancy Shorthold) dictates the terms of the contract. This is where you and your tenant can insert clauses that relate to the property. You both need to understand what you agree to, and everyone should be clear of terms – such as length of tenancy, rental amount and specifics to do with living in the property.
You’ve received the holding deposit
You need to receive any deposit funds before the tenant moves in If you are taking a five-week security deposit. Once you have the deposit, it’s also necessary to register it with a tenancy deposit scheme and share the details with your tenant.
A growing number of landlords are instead opting for zero deposit schemes, which means tenants pay a one-off fee that amounts to one week’s rent. This isn’t refundable and goes to the company managing the scheme rather than the landlord. However, you still get all the same rights as you do with a traditional security deposit.
Make moving easy
As a landlord, you want to provide a good service to your tenants while enjoying regular income on your investment. With these tips, you will be in a better position to understand what needs to be done before a tenant moves, and you can enjoy a smooth ride as a landlord.