Being a landlord can involve a lot of paper work. From getting your property ready to let, referencing and choosing tenants, maintaining a tenancy or bringing a tenancy to an end there is no end of forms, agreements, certificates and logs you really need to support your business.
Having an easy to access supply of templates can save you a lot of time and effort. We are happy to supply a number of free templates to aid you in managing your tenancies.
Once you’ve chosen a tenant and carried out all the checks you will need to give them a Tenancy Agreement before they move into your property. This is a legal contract between you and your tenant. A Tenancy Agreement explains the terms of the contract and offers both you and your tenant protection. You shouldn’t hand over the keys to a property until both you and your tenants have signed a Tenancy Agreement.
Your property is one of the most valuable assets you own, and you wont want to hand over the keys to just anyone. There are lots of places that offer tenants reference checking, including the Private Rented Service Newcastle, but it is something can choose to do yourself.
Sometimes landlord ask tenants to provide additional security such as a Guarantor, it is important that a Guarantor understands what they are agreeing to and that a landlord has a strong document to reply on should they need to take action to recover arrears from the Guarantor.
If you want to take a holding deposit from a tenant while you carry out your reference checks it is important that you make sure that the tenants know when this money would be returned or retained by the landlord, to avoid confusion we always recommend having something in writing.
If you are granting a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy, or offering a renewed fixed term to an existing tenancy it is vital that you meet the start of tenancy necessities.
You should make sure that you provide the tenants with (and can evidence that you have provided):
- A valid gas safety certificate (where gas is supplied to the property)
- A copy of the Energy Performance Certificate EPC
- A copy of the most recent ‘How to rent in England’ leaflet.
You should also make sure that you have followed the deposit protection regulation if you have taken a deposit and applied for a appropriate licence if your property is subject to licence. If you have a property in Newcastle upon Tyne and want to know more about property licencing in the city go to our webpages here.
A good tenants information pack is a great place to start to ensure that your tenants are provided with all the information they need to manage the tenancy. Its a good idea to include information about how to report repairs, emergency contacts, how and where to dispose of waste and how to report problems with ASB.
Other things you should consider including would be copies of gas and electrical safety certificates, copies of the EPC, copies of the How to Rent in England Leaflet and any user manuals for white goods, alarms or security systems.
It is important that you create an inventory at the start of each new tenancy and get this agreed, and signed, by the tenant. Ideally you should go through the inventory together at the sign in and leave a copy with the tenant for 7 days to record any snapping points not identified immediately. Without a signed inventory you will find it very hard to keep part or all or a deposit for damages.
At the end of the tenancy you should use the start of tenancy agreement as a guide for your pre end of tenancy inspection.
During the tenancy you should carry out regular property visits and advised the tenants of any concerns that you would like to see addressing before they become too challenging.
Download our useful property check list to help you keep track of the condition of the property.
As simple as it sounds but keeping a property log and rent schedule is one the best way to keep a track of how well a tenancy is progressing. The property log lets you track visits, correspondence and complaints with the tenant.
The rent schedule lets you spot any arrears early and provides vital evidence should you need to take action against the tenants due to arrears.
In most cases landlords prefer to talk directly to their tenants about any problems and to come up with a solution. It is however often a good idea to back up such conversions in writing. This not only demonstrates your professionalism but also proves an evidence base should further action be required.
Most tenancies end in a very amicable way with the tenant being ready to move on and giving notice to the landlord, however is some cases a landlord may need to gain possession of a property or ask the tenant to leave due to breach of the agreement. This can be a challenging time and can be costly and drawn out.
We have produced a number of quick glance documents that we hope will offer some guidance but if in doubt we would always recommend seeking legal advice of getting more information from the Gov. site
To download the relevant notice preforma go to Gov. site tenancy forms.
There might be times when you think a tenant has left the property but hasn’t given you notice. Abandonment can be a huge problem for landlords, just because you think a tenant has left doesn’t mean they have, or that you are free to take possession of the property .