Landlord's Updated(June 2023) Checklist

Landlord's Updated(June 2023) Checklist

Posted on May 9th, 2023

There is a lot to organise when renting a property to new tenants. Ensuring that not only do you literally tick all the boxes but that you also remain on the right side of the law as the UK government seems to continuously amend regulations.

Forget to attend to some of these tasks and you could face a hefty fine and even a ban from renting out properties. Here’s what you should include in your landlord checklist.

Do all of the following and both you and your new tenants will be able to enjoy the tenancy without any legal stress or niggles.

Is It Yours To Rent Out?

If your flat is a leasehold property, check with the freeholder that they’re fine for you to rent it out.

Contact your mortgage lender (if you have one) and ask if you can rent out your property on your current contract. Some lenders may allow you to initially, then later ask you to switch to a buy to let mortgage. Others may want you to take out a landlord mortgage right away. Indeed, it’s one of the first things you should consider in a property inspection checklist for landlords.

Housing Licensing

Depending on what type of property you plan on renting out, you may have to get a license from your local authority. Large HMO’s always need a licence, which can take some time to organise and prepare. Even if you have a small HMO, you may still require a licence for certain cities and towns. Always check with the council in which your property sits if they have any particular licencing schemes, such as Additional or Selective licensing.

Arrange An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An Energy Performance Certificate is mandatory for every rented property in England and Wales. It indicates how energy-efficient the property is and is necessary for every landlord inspection checklist. Tenants must be advised of this before renting; once they move in, they should be given a copy of the EPC as confirmation. All tenancies must have an E or above rating; otherwise, you may be liable for a fine. From 2025, all properties must achieve a C grade or above, so it is well worth preparing your property for this change in legislation in advance.

Gas Safety Checks

A qualified engineer must perform an annual gas safety check, ensuring your property is gas safe. Tenants should be provided with a copy of the gas safety certificate (known as a CP12 certificate) and all relevant documents within 28 days of the inspection. Failure to provide this can lead to a hefty fine.

Electrical Safety

Equally, electrical safety checks must be carried out by a qualified professional, with the resulting documents passed on to tenants within 28 days. This is known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), which is required for all tenancies in England and must be carried out at least every five years.

Portable Appliance Testing

Unlike the EICR, portable appliance testing isn’t a legal requirement, but it does make sense to have it done. No landlord wants their tenants to suffer an electric shock at the hands of a dodgy kettle or toaster.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke alarms are essential, and in England, there must be one on every floor of a rental property where there are tenants. Carbon Monoxide alarms are also legally required in any room with a combustion-based appliance such as a gas heater (excluding gas cookers). The carbon monoxide alarms must also follow UK-specific regulations such as the British Standard EN 50291, so check the specifications before installing. Remember to regularly check these are in working order – certainly between tenancies. Always highlight this on your checklist for renting.

Fire Safety & Furniture

Any rental property safety inspection checklist should always note the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations. Landlords must ensure that any furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe. This applies to sofas, beds, mattresses and textiles and ensures they all comply with fire safety standards. Check that these items come with the fire safety symbol on the label and meet safety regulations before purchasing them to ensure compliance. If you’re looking for even more specific advice, you can read this article on the government website.

How To Rent Guide (2023)

All new tenants must be given a How to Rent guide before they move in. This can be a hard copy or via email. The guide itself is available from the government website This must be given within 21 days of the start of a new tenancy; failure to furnish your tenants with one means that should the tenancy prove troublesome, you will have trouble acquiring a repossession notice through court. It’s a must for your checklist for renting.

Give Your Property The Right Exposure

An agent can help market your property with access to the two big portals – Rightmove and Zoopla. Certainly, this is the way most people looking for rented properties search these days. Ensure the photographs are good and the advert succinct but with all essential points noted.

Paying Tax On Rental Income

Landlords who profit from their rental tenancy have to declare this via HMRC. New landlords nearly always use a Self-Assessment tax return for this purpose. You can check with the HMRC website to see what the threshold is for paying income tax on an annual basis. Not getting your tax assessment in before the deadline can result in a fine, so you will always want to note the date for submission on your renting out a house checklist.

Carry Out A Right To Rent Check

Another legal obligation in England is for landlords to check that their tenants are eligible to live in the country. This involves checking their passport and residency papers. Renting to a tenant who is not eligible to stay carries a £3,000 penalty, so don’t forget to add it to your list.

Referencing Your Tenants

For your own peace of mind, tenant referencing is a must. You can acquire information on their employment status, a reference from a current or past landlord (if any) and a copy of bank statements to check their financial status.

Administer A Tenancy Agreement

A tenancy agreement seals the rental contract terms between you and the tenant. Most tenancies these days are Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST). It will list the length of the tenancy, together with the cost and when payments are due. It should also contain clauses outlining required notice periods for termination on behalf of both parties.

Get Landlord Insurance

This doesn’t necessarily have to be on your checklist (unless your lender demands it). Still, getting landlord’s home insurance to cover the ‘unforeseen incidents’ such as flooding, damage and void periods (with Rent Guarantee schemes) is always a good idea.

Protect Your Tenants’ Deposits (TDP Schemes)

Placing your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved Security Deposit scheme is legally required. Your tenant should be told where you have put the money within 30 days of moving in.

Compile An Inventory

An inventory is a record of the contents of your property and the condition they’re in. The tenants should sign this within a few days of moving in to verify that they agree. You can use this again at the end of the tenancy in case you need to make a claim on a tenant’s deposit.

Regular Property Inspections

Regular property inspections let you keep on top of maintenance issues as you go along and help you build a positive relationship with tenants. That way, you won’t encounter any nasty surprises late into the tenancy. You must give tenants 24 hours’ written notice before carrying out an inspection, and it’s recommended you inspect your property each quarter.

If you’re looking to rent your property while keeping on the right side of the law, then why not talk to our letting agents today? We can give you help, advice and property management services to help you avoid fines and manage your tenancies easily.

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