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First time landlord checklist

Are you letting your property for the first time or is this your first buy to let venture? It can be a scary place when you are not familiar with everything you need to comply with:

We have devised a great checklist to get you started and ensure you set off on the right track.


1) Before you start to think about marketing your property or purchasing a buy to let make sure you do your research into the local area, what rents are being charged, demand for different types of property and the local market. Talk to local letting agents and look on the different rental portals.

2) Make sure your property is ready to let and will attract the best tenants. This includes making sure it structurally sound with no leaks, damp patches or mysterious stains!

3) Regulatory Requirements: there is a full list of these which you must follow and make sure you understand in summary these include:

Gas Regulations:

If you let a property equipped with gas appliances, you have three main responsibilities: Maintenance: pipework, appliances and chimney/flues need to be maintained safely. Gas safety checks: An annual gas safety check should be carried out on each gas appliance/flue by a Gas Safe registered contractor.

Electrical Regulations:

That the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration.

That a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has a periodic inspection carried out on the property every five years.

If your property is not an HMO, you are not legally obliged to do this. However, we recommend that a periodic inspection and test is carried out by a registered electrician on your rental properties at least every five years.

That any appliance provided is safe and has at least the CE marking (which is the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all the requirements of European law).

To meet these requirements a landlord will need to regularly carry out basic safety checks to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances are safe and working.

Energy Performance Certificates

It is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate and provide a copy to your tenants.

Smoke Detectors:

It is now legal requirement to install a working smoke detector on each floor of your property. You should make sure your tenancy agreement states that it is the tenants responsibility to maintain the smoke detectors.

Soft furnishings

It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all upholstered furniture complies with the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

These regulations set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. Many domestic fires start with soft furnishings catching fire and many deaths are attributed to the highly poisonous fumes that are given off by the man-made foams and coverings.

The new regulations aim to improve the fire safety of materials used in the manufacturing of furniture by introducing two new standards of fire resistance.

Give your property the WOW factor, a lick of paint and new carpets can make all the difference. Make sure all rooms are clean and sparkling and the kitchen and bathroom are all in good order.


Decide which sort of tenants you are going to start looking for and think about where you might find them, a good source of tenants can you found from your local letting agent who will advertise on Rightmove and Zoopla. If you are letting individual rooms Spareroom.com is an ideal place to look.

The legislation when sourcing tenants also needs to be adhered to:

Right to rent

You are now legally liable for checking that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential property in England.

Before the start of a new tenancy, you must check all tenants aged 18 and over, even if:

  • they’re not named on the tenancy agreement
  • there’s no tenancy agreement
  • the tenancy agreement isn’t in writing

How to Rent Guide

ALL Landlords In England must provide the ‘How To Rent’ Guide to their tenants’ at the beginning of new tenancies. This is periodically updated by the government and you should ensure you are issuing the correct version.

Deposit Protection

You must place your tenants’ deposit in a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes if you rent out your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. The schemes in England and Wales are:

Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured)
Tenancy Deposit Scheme

If you need help with any of the above or would like some more information please get in touch we provide a free consultation session. Or come along to our Get Your house in order event on 12th July 6.00pm 2018 at the Joshua Bradley, get your tickets here. Stay up to date by joining the Facebook Event.

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