Letting out your property is a fantastic way to earn extra income whilst providing a family with a home. If you’re lucky, you will even have increased capital gains when you come to sell the property. There are some things you need to know before letting your property, so we have written a few pointers here to get you started.
Tenancy Agreements & Deposit
Once you have found a tenant for your property, it is important that you have them sign the tenancy agreements with your special terms (e.g. no pets, no smoking) before they move into the house. You cannot force someone to sign a contract, so this is why it must be done prior to the tenant moving in.
Any deposit money that you take from your tenant must be put into a tenancy deposit protection scheme. This protects both you and the tenant further down the line when it comes to returning the deposit money upon vacating the property.
Within 30 days of receiving the deposit money, you should place the funds into a protection scheme and provide your tenant with notice of the scheme and their rights, which will show information similar to the following:
- Contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme being used
- The landlord or agent’s contact details
- How to apply for the release of the deposit
- Information explaining the purpose of the deposit
- What to do if there's a dispute about the deposit
Gas & Electrical Safety Checks
You are responsible to ensure that the appliances, both gas and electrical, are safe to use for your tenant.
For gas installations and appliances, it is important that you keep records of inspection dates, that you can also provide to your tenant. You should look to have a person, who is registered with the Gas Safety Register, inspect your gas installations at least once every year.
You will also be required to ensure that any electrical appliances such as microwaves, kettles and heaters are safe for the tenant to use. Again, you should check these on a yearly basis, or check in with your tenant to make sure that everything is working correctly.
Repairs to Property
As the property owner, you are responsible for any major repairs that need to take place at the property, in accordance to the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, which outlines that the structure and exterior of the property is to be kept maintained. This includes the walls, roof, windows, flooring and any other fixed installations to the property such as gas piping, electrical wiring, plumbing, basins, sinks, toilets and baths.
Tenants are often obliged to maintain smaller aspects of the property by keeping the décor in good condition as well as managing the garden and doing general housework.
These are the three key things you will need to know when renting out your property. If you would like further information about letting out your property or to find out how we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
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