Avoid BIG FINES: Errors When Renting Your Property

So you’re just about to start your search for new tenants… but where do you even begin?!

When it comes to renting your property, there’s a LOT to consider. Whether you’re a pro or a newbie, we’re here to walk you through it…

Are you ready to rent?

So first things first – is the property ready to go on the market?

Whether it’s a brand new property or you’re just looking for new tenants, take the time to give the place a thorough inspection… All done? Great, now – is there anything you need to do? 

  • Are all the floors and carpet in good condition? This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace all of the flooring, but ask yourself – is it safe? Are there holes, loose sections or uneven bits that could be a trip hazard? You’ll want to get those sorted out. Do the carpets look in good nick? They might be fine for another couple of years, but renting a good carpet shampoo or even getting a professional carpet cleaning service in will increase the longevity of the carpet and impress potential tenants
  • Are there any minor damages that you can have fixed before move in? This can be anything from scuffs on doors, sticky locks, chips on skirting boards or small cracks in plaster. While they may be small problems now, it’s best to nip them in the bud – and it makes the place look much better cared for
  • Does anything need to be replaced? If you’re renting furnished, be sure to check the furniture is all in good and clean order and fix or replace anything you need to
  • Do you need to redecorate? Over time, things can start to look a little tired, so now might be the time for a fresh lick of paint

Is all of your certification up-to-date?

Before you can legally rent your property, you need to make sure that all of your compliance documentation is up-to-date – so now is as good a time as any!

All of the above should be in date BEFORE your new tenant moves in! So pull up all your documents and check the date on them. You’ll need to give copies to your tenants too when they move in, so ensuring you have them readily to hand is good practice.

Have there been any changes in the law?

Landlords are bound by multiple legal requirements to ensure the safety of the properties they rent out. Not only do you have to have all of the previously mentioned compliance documents, but you also need to ensure you’ve done a Right to Rent check and protected the deposit.

Keeping up-to-date with the legal requirements is incredibly important, or you could find yourself fined or even facing jail time!

  • Rental Reform Bill. This has been chugging along for some time, delayed by the pandemic as so many other things were. But it looks like plenty of the laws within the Bill may come in this year, from pets in rentals to doubling rent increase notice periods
  • Updated How to Rent Guide book. The How to Rent Guide is something you need to provide your tenant with when they move in (along with a great deal of other paperwork). But you need to be sure that you’re giving them the RIGHT one. The How to Rent Guide was updated in 2023, so make sure you have the updated version
  • Licensing. This isn’t a nationwide requirement, but we’re noticing selective licensing creeping in across the country. So be sure to check with your local council if that is something that you need. If you’re renting a HMO, you need one regardless of where in the country the property is! 

Is there an easy way to manage all of this?

Yep, there’s a lot to consider there and, if you’re self-managing, it’s just about being very organised and keeping yourself informed. I’m afraid there isn’t any magic bullet to help you sort out all of the above with a click of your fingers.

However, you can work with a letting agent to take some of the load off. They’ll be able to deal with future tenants, sort out deposits and feed back to you if you need to do any work to the property ahead of the new tenants moving in.

They’ll also ensure that your new tenants have all the paperwork they need.

Now, this doesn’t take everything off of your hands. Think of your agent as a member of your team, doing the bulk of the legwork to get you rental ready. You should always have oversight on when your legal certification is due to expire and we recommend that you also check the property, to make sure that you’re happy with it – it’s your property after all.

If you think that an agent might just be the relief you’re looking for, book a call and we’ll be able to help you out. 

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