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Is the property safe? If the property is not safe, you as a landlord are not safe and you are liable to prosecution. More importantly, the tenant isn’t safe and might be in danger.

You need to ensure that the property is safe electrically. That the gas safety certificate is in place. That the Carbon Monoxide alarm and Smoke alarms are in place. You need to ensure that the property safe for human occupation and for the type of person that’ll be living there; elderly, children, pets, disabled.

Make sure the property is clean Whilst cleaning is subjective, there should be no signs of a previous person. Providing a professionally cleaned property will avoid any doubt at the end of the tenancy and as a landlord, you can insist on the property being returned as was provided, clean!

Present your property to attract your ideal market Don’t alienate your potential market. If you’re seeking students; modern, easy to clean and easy to replace furniture would suit. If you’re seeking a mature market, you are likely to want to un-furnish your property and have a warm, neutral, homely feel.

Are the legalities in place? You may or may not have a mortgage. If you have a mortgage, you should check whether you’ve got consent to let it. A buy to let mortgage will have consent to let but many standard mortgages won’t and you will have to seek consent from the lender. Failure to obtain consent and letting the property is not something you want to do.

Seek consent from the freeholder If your property is a leasehold property, you may require consent from the freeholder or their agent. Some leases only permit certain demographics. There are leases that state a minimum of three years, no pets, no under 55’s. Check your lease and what the clauses state about renting. On many occasions, the lease states that consent is not to be unreasonably withheld.

Insurance Quite often insurance is overlooked. Many policies are householders’ insurance, and this suggests that you are a resident. When you rent the property, you immediately invalidated the insurance in many cases. You should check your policy and the terms within.

What is the correct tenancy agreement? There is no one size fits all when it comes to agreements. There is the assured shorthold tenancy agreement, a contractual agreement, a company let agreement or possibly a licence. A common mistake many landlords make is using the same agreement year after year. Legislation changes frequently; most recently the introduction of MEES, HHSRS and the De Regulation Act. Agreements need to be updated to reflect the changes. As a landlord, you need to make sure that you’re using an up-to-date tenancy agreement.

An inventory and schedule of condition This is not as many landlords think a single page document. These are regularly over 10/15 pages long and detail everything within a property from floor to ceiling decoration, to the number of lightbulbs.

It should involve a room-by-room description with contents itemised, a note of cleanliness and any damage or wear and tear noted. A property returned with no light bulbs working and no record of these working on commencement of the tenancy can quite quickly cost you considerably to replace.

Deposit registration A complex area made more complex by the court case Superstrike Limited v Marino Rodrigues. You must know which deposit scheme you are going to use, what is required of you and in what time frame. Are you to use the custodial or insured scheme with TDS, DPS, mydeposits. Are you required to issue a certificate or terms and conditions?! Failure to adhere to the legislation may result in a large compensation claim by the tenant.

Are you educated enough? You need to know what laws you need to abide by; rights of access, rights of quiet enjoyment, landlord and tenant act, fire safety order, health and safety act, the housing health and safety rating system, landlord and tenant act. All these laws, legislation and regulations you need to know so as to stay compliant at all times.

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