Landlords

Things to do before renting out your house

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Renting out your house can be a great way to generate rental income. If you are a first time landlord thinking of renting out your rental home to prospective tenants you will have lots of questions and important steps you need to take. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that the rental property is habitable. In order to make sure you fulfil your responsibilities, it’s important to be well prepared before listing your property. Read this article to find out what you need to do before you can let your property.


Health and safety

Landlords owe a duty of care to renters and their health and safety legal obligations will vary depending on whether the landlord is a live-in landlord taking a lodger or renting out a HMO, bedsit or sole occupancy property. Before you put your house up for rent, take some steps to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries to new tenants by doing a risk assessment and fire safety checks. Install smoke alarms on each floor and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms where solid fuel is combusted.


Landlord insurance policy

Let properties are a valuable asset which is why it is important you protect your rental property with insurance. As a landlord you can take structural insurance and contents insurance if the property you are providing is furnished or has white goods. You can also seek rent guarantee insurance which will provide some protection against rent arrears.


Energy performance certificate

An EPC is a legal requirement when renting out your home or property. The certificate is an official document from a registered energy assessor, which gives details about the energy efficiency of your home. It includes information such as an energy efficiency rating which shows how well insulated your property is, how effectively it uses electricity and how easily heat is lost. EPCs are valid for 5 years and must be provided to the tenant at the start of the tenancy along with other statutory documents such as a gas safety certificate (if applicable) and how to rent letter.


Furniture

You need to decide if you provide a furnished or unfurnished property to your tenants. Regardless of what you decide, the first thing to do is to get a professional inventory of the property and possessions (if applicable). This will ensure that the state of the property is documented at the start of the tenancy and damage can be determined objectively during the check out process. If you are providing white goods, ensure that the date, model and details of the appliances are also provided.

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Letting agents

Property management can be a full-time job which is why it might be worth using a letting agent to help you manage your rental property. You can enquire from the estate agent who you bought your property from or alternatively do some market research to find a letting agent. Their job is to find potential tenants and verify that they pass credit checks and background checks. They will also deal with all the legal paperwork once a tenant has been found. This can be a good option if you don't have time to deal with all the extra work involved. If you choose to manage the property yourself, read our tips to help you find a tenant or a lodger.


Tenancy Agreement

Regardless of whether you are creating the tenancy agreement yourself or using a letting agent, you should familiarise yourself with the terms and understand your obligations as a landlord. In particular you must ensure you have all the permissions to let out your property (for example from a mortgage lender) and register the tenant's deposit (capped to one month's rent) with a gov.uk approved tenancy deposit scheme. You should also be familiar with the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to know what fees can be charged to a tenant in connection to your rental property.


After going through these important steps and answering these questions you should now be in a good position to rent out your house. The next step is to ensure your legals are in order which can be a challenge to the frequent legal updates. Legislate is a great solution for landlords and letting agents to automate their tenancy documentation in a legally compliant and user-friendly way. To create your tenancy documents with Legislate today, read a tutorial or sign up today.


About Legislate

Legislate is a contracting platform where landlords can create contracts relevant to the property they rent, ranging from tenancy agreements to letter agreements for serving notices. Read our tutorial to learn how to create your tenancy agreements in minutes with Legislate. Book a demo and Sign up today to put the confidence back into contracting.


The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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