My Business and COVID-19: Is It Legal to Run My Business From Home?
What permissions you might need to run your business from your home.
What documents should a potential tenant be expected to show?
1. Right to Rent
A tenant has to show that they are who they say they are, and that they have the right to rent. Proving the right to rent involves submitting documents online or producing them manually to show the landlord. Documents accepted for this step include a residence permit, a residence card, a passport or a national identity card.
Changes to documentation for EEA citizens have taken effect since the 30th June 2021. Read about these changes to Right to Rent post-Brexit here.
2. Referencing and Credit Checks
Depending on the landlord’s requirements, a tenant may have to demonstrate a character and/or employment reference. This could involve reaching out to the tenant’s employer and asking their employment details, their income and an insight into their character. This could also involve asking their previous landlord how responsible they are, ascertaining how reliable they are with rent payments and how well they looked after their previous rental.
Often, the landlord or letting agent might run a credit check on a tenant to help determine how reliable they might be with rent payments. It is desirable for a tenant to find out their credit score in advance. If their credit score is less than ideal, they need to find a guarantor to co-sign the tenancy agreement. The guarantor pledges themselves to pay the rent if the tenant cannot.
What documents should a potential landlord be expected to show?
At the outset, it is important to note that a landlord should provide a written tenancy agreement when contracting with a potential tenant. Though oral agreements are binding, a written document will set out the terms of the letting arrangement more thoroughly and in more detail, providing greater clarity and enforceability to both parties. The most basic tenancy agreement for an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) should include: the rent amount and payment method, details of any permitted occupiers, required notice periods, the length of the tenancy, and any remaining rights and obligations of the tenant and landlord.
If a tenant has signed the agreement, there are other pieces of information they are entitled to. If the landlord’s property is mortgaged, the tenant should be given notice of this. They have a right to know of any mortgagee’s right to recover possession from the tenant.
A landlord must also provide their contact details to their tenant. This must include their name, address and a telephone number in emergency situations.
By law there are various certificates a landlord must produce before the tenancy begins. A Gas Safety Certificate must be shown if there are gas appliances in the property. Not showing this certificate is a criminal offence.
A set of regulations brought in 2020 mandates that private landlords inspect and test every electrical installation in the premises at intervals of no more than 5 years. They must supply a copy of the most recent electrical report to any new tenant on the premises. Since 2008 a landlord must produce an Energy Performance Certificate.
To ensure you are aware of the changes introduced by the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, please view our guide here.
There are other documents that might be useful for a landlord to provide to their tenant. If they have lived previously in the property or intend to live in it later, it would be desirable to serve a ground 1 notice. A ground 1 notice allows landlords to reclaim possession of their properties safely at the end of the term under Section 8 Sch 2 Housing Act 1988. This can be included in the tenancy agreement.
It is worth providing tenants with copies of written instructions regarding all appliances and installations. An inventory list is also useful to record what is in the premises in order to claim for damages if anything is broken.
For more information on inventories and rentals, please visit this page.
If applicable, giving notice of an insurance policy is also worth doing. Otherwise, you will not be able to get compensation from your tenants for damages if they invalidate your insurance or cause the premiums to be increased if they fail to comply with its terms. If no notice is given, the tenant is not bound by the terms of a document they have never seen, and so they cannot be held liable.
From looking for the right tenant to making a property safe, creating a tenancy agreement is only one of several responsibilities of a landlord. Legislate is a contracting platform where you can create easy-to-understand and legally valid agreements on your own terms. You can read how to create your first Legislate agreements in our tutorial or watch a short demo. If you would like to try Legislate, please book an introductory call.
The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.
What permissions you might need to run your business from your home.
Everything you need to consider pre and post termination.
A guide to excluded occupiers and evictions.
Your security clearance requirements when working with the Government
The Court of Appeal on section 21 notices and EPC requirements.
Insight into the single person discount for single lets
Learning from south Liverpool’s ongoing crisis
The services provided by a full management letting agency
On the 2nd anniversary of RoPA’s groundbreaking report
In law, is a landlord responsible for the actions of their agent?
The basic rights that both tenants and landlords are entitled to.
4 key stages in implementing a change of employment terms
Factors to consider before proposing a change to employment terms
How to read your tenancy agreement with student tenants
How can a landlord or letting agent end a tenancy without a section 8 or 21 notice?
For what reasons can you start the process of ending an assured shorthold tenancy?
Changing the terms of a tenancy agreement pre and post signature.
Everything to know about controlling Legionella risk in a rental property
If it looks, walks and talks like a tenant, can it be a lodger?
Are these 3 clauses in your free licence to occupy template?
What the case law says on the essential elements of a lease
Does a contract actually need to be in writing?
Your obligations before, during and whilst housing a lodger.
What the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 mean for Landlords
A history of the landlord-tenant relationship and how it is shaped today
Don't cover up the cracks.
Make sure to remove these ‘unforgotten’ clauses from your contracts.
3 things missing in your agency’s template agreement with landlords
Bridges to cross when renting property.
Bridges every landlord needs to cross before letting their property.
Classifying property and your obligations.
Single occupancy, multiple obligations.
Landlords: Your extra responsibilities when letting a HMO.
Why your tenancy agreements might not be as enforceable as you think they are.