Finding a tenant can be made easier by making sure your property looks as good as it can. Smart and well-maintained properties usually attract individuals who will keep it that way and pay their rent on time. You may decide to upgrade a kitchen or bathroom as a long-term investment. Alternatively, a lick of paint and a thorough clean can be all your property requires.
As a landlord, there are a number of legal requirements that you have to meet to make sure your property is safe for tenants, these include:
All gas appliances and flues must be checked once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
The engineer will provide you with a gas installation certificate which will be shown to the tenants.
Landlords have a duty to make sure that all electrical appliances supplied for tenants' use are safe. It is recommended that a Portable Appliance Test is carried out once a year and before a tenant moves in.
It is compulsory for all new tenancies starting from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
3. Non-resident landlords
If you are planning to move or live abroad then you can apply for a Non-Resident Landlord Number via HM Revenue and Custom's.
4. Finding a tenant
At Vanet we have rigorous procedures and checks to ensure that we find the most appropriate tenants for our landlord’s property. We use a third party referencing company and in all cases we ensure that all our tenants meet the following criteria:
• In a permanent employment contract or on one that is longer than the tenancy agreement, or in a full-time position.
• Basic salary is three-times bigger than the rent.
• If self-employed, tenant must have an accountant and have held this status for more than six months.
• In cases where a tenant fails to pass the reference check then we ensure that they appoint a UK guarantor - such as a family member who meets the above criteria. The guarantor will sign the contract and be liable for missed rent payments.
We also ensure that we receive:
• The first month's rent in advance
• A damage deposit (At Vanet we register all of our tenants damage deposits with the Tenancy Deposit Service within 14 days of receipt.)
In cases where the tenant is a student, our requirements may differ.
An inventory is conducted prior to your tenants move in date. This details the exact condition of your property including all its contents.
If any damage occurs to your property or contents, these will be highlighted in the check-out report and a case will be put forward to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme who will decide if the tenants are responsible for any charges.
NB: At Vanet we use a third party to conduct all our Inventory and Check-out reports.
• Landlord building insurance
This will cover any damage to your property from explosions, lightning strikes, floods and fire.
• Landlord contents insurance
This cover financially protects the contents of your property. You may already pay for this in your service charge if you are a leaseholder.
• Rent guarantee and legal expenses insurance
This type of cover can help protect you from the expense of miss paid rent and legal fees.
7. Your responsibilities
You must maintain and cover the costs to the following:
• The exterior and structure of a property
• All fixtures and fittings that form part of a property
• All heating and hot water installations
• All sinks, basins, baths and other sanitary features
• All electrical and mechanical items in a property