A surge in the buy-to-let market has seen a number of inexperienced landlords enter the industry for the first time. All landlords, regardless of experience, should make sure that they have five key elements in place to protect both themselves and their tenants.
Gas Safety Certificates
All gas equipment and fittings in a property should be checked by a registered gas engineer every 12 months. Two copies of the Gas Safety certificate will be provided after the inspection, one of which should be given to the tenant.
Energy Performance Certificate
An Energy Performance Certificate must be obtained for every rental property that a landlord intends to let. Again, a copy of this certificate must be given to the tenant.
5 Key Elements Every Landlord Should Know About
Written tenancy agreement
Despite not being a necessary requirement, having a written tenancy agreement protects both parties if any disputes occur at a later date. Written agreements should include features such as how much rent has been agreed, the length of the tenancy and other essential terms by which the tenants must abide.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
By law, landlords must protect tenants’ deposits in a Government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Deposits must be protected within 30 days of the commencement of a tenancy agreement and tenants must be given notice of where and how their cash has been saved. This is known as the Prescribed Information. Failure to provide this information can see landlords facing hefty fines.
Mortgage/insurance company consent
Landlords without a specified buy-to-let mortgage must inform their mortgage provider immediately if they plan to let their property. In addition, building insurers must also be contacted, or landlords face voiding the property.