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Have you…

1. Made sure your gas safety certificate is to hand?
Why?
It is a legal requirement for landlords to have an up-to-date Gas Safety record for tenants to inspect. It must show that all gas appliances in the building have been serviced regularly, usually once a year and by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Find out more about Upad’s gas safety certificate service.

2. Lodged your tenants’ deposits with an approved scheme?
Why?
Since 2007 it has been mandatory for landlords to place tenant deposits into a government-approved scheme, of which there are currently four. These are either custodial (when a landlord hands over the deposit for safe keeping) or insurance-based, when the landlord retains the deposit but the risk of the deposit being lost is insured.

3. Asked your tenants to set up standing orders?
Why?
Leaving it to the last moment will lead to problems when the first rent becomes due.

4. Collected contact mobile phone numbers and email addresses for each of the tenants?
Why?
Just having contact details for one ‘lead’ tenant will make communicating with other tenants difficult if that person is on holiday or falls ill, for example.

5. Completed an inventory of the property and sought the tenants’ signed agreement that it’s accurate?
Why?
Before 2006 inventories were an informal system within which landlords were ‘judge and jury’ but today the system is more tightly regulated and easier for tenants to use and so inventories need to be comprehensive. Find out more about Upad’s inventories service.

6. Undertaken former landlord, employment and financial references for each of the tenants?
If you want to avoid the hell of the eviction process, damage to your property or unpaid rent then completing tenant referencing is essential. Find out more about Upad’s referencing service.

7. Collected copies of their passport so you are sure of their ID?
Why?
If you tenants disappear then having proof of their identity may help track them down.

8. Ensured the tenants have signed and dated the tenancy agreement?
Why?
If you and your tenants have not properly signed AND dated the agreement on each page then, later on, craftier tenants may use this to avoid eviction at a later date.

9. Read all the meters in the house?
Why?
If you have a dispute with the previous tenants about unpaid utility bills then a record of the meter readings just after they left strengthens your hand.

10. Contacted utility companies and the local authority to advise them of the new tenants and the date the tenancy started?
Why?
Landlords are responsible for the bills incurred during ‘void’ periods, so ensuring suppliers and councils are aware when arrivals and departures take place will prevent you paying over the odds.

Related articles
Top five rental problems and how to solve them
References – what tenants need to know
Tenants from hell – what referencing reveals

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