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Here are our 30 Top Tips to help you become a great landlord.

Have you just bought a property and you are looking to let it out? Are you wanting to become a landlord for the first time, but you don’t know where to start?

Anthony Irving, Lettings Manager at our Marble Arch branch offers your some tried and tested hot tips guaranteed to set your property apart from others on the market and to speed up the process of finding a tenant.

Our guide outlines essential procedures & responsibilities that will help new & existing landlords understand what is required of them before, during & after they have tenants lined up to move into their property.

Here are our 30 top tips to help you become a great landlord.

  • Tip 1– Repair & Renovate the property
  • Tip 2– Make sure all risk assessments are up to date
  • Tip 3– Check & install fire & carbon monoxide alarms
  • Tip 4– Make sure buildings & landlord insurance is up to date
  • Tip 5– Gas safety certificates must be kept up to date
  • Tip 6– Arrange an EPC
  • Tip 7– Create an inventory
  • Tip 8– Find a tenant
  • Tip 9– Use a professional tenant reference system
  • Tip 10– Create & sign a tenancy agreement
  • Tip 11– Provide an up to date copy of ‘How to Rent’ guide created by the Government
  • Tip 12 – Take a deposit & first month’s rent
  • Tip 13 – Certificate of Deposit Protection
  • Tip 14 – Notify local council of new tenants
  • Tip 15 – Let the utilities company know
  • Tip 16 – What days do the bins go out?
  • Tip 17 – Keys!
  • Tip 18 – Locations of meters
  • Tip 19 – Show the tenants how to use the boiler
  • Tip 20 – Show your tenants how to use the appliances
  • Tip 21 – Your property is a tenant’s new home
  • Tip 22 – Communication is key
  • Tip 23 – Inspect to protect
  • Tip 24 – Maintain the property
  • Tip 25 – The AST is coming to an end…What happens now?
  • Tip 26 – Notice required
  • Tip 27 – Start to find new tenants
  • Tip 28 – Revisit the inventory
  • Tip 29 – Agree on returning deposit
  • Tip 30 – Start from scratch


  • Before Tenancy 


    Tip 1 – Repair & renovate the property. A clean, tidy and maintained property is going to be much more appealing to potential tenants. The better the repairs & renovations are now, the easier they will be to maintain in the future. If you are not doing the work yourself, always check around for good quotes from reputable companies.

    Tip 2 – Make sure all risk assessments are up to date.
    These assessments must include Legionella, Fire & Asbestos.
    www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/legionella-landlords-responsibilities.htm

    Tip 3 – Check & install smoke & carbon monoxide alarms.
    Make sure that the smoke & carbon monoxide alarms are installed & working correctly, they save lives. Working smoke alarms must be installed on every floor of a property. If your property has any rooms that contain a solid fuel appliance, such as a wood burning stove, working open fire, etc. you must also install carbon monoxide alarms in those rooms.
    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/724604/How_to_Let_Jun18.pdf

    Tip 4 – Make sure buildings & landlord insurance is up to date.
    It is best practise for you to have buildings & landlord insurance. Make sure that this is up to date. If you don’t have buildings & landlord insurance, there are plenty of insurance brokers in the market, shop around to get the best deals.

    Tip 5 – Gas safety certificates must be kept up to date.
    It is a legal requirement to have all gas appliances checked annually by a registered engineer.

    Tip 6 – Arrange an EPC.
    Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) must be obtained to comply with Law. An inspection must take place that will take measurements, details about the construction and the type of heating & hot waters systems that are in the property. An EPC report will contain recommendations & approximate savings per year if improvements are needed.

    Tip 7 – Create an inventory.
    The inventory gives the details of the condition & it’s contents of the property before a tenant moves in. There are many free & paid options for an inventory check.

    Tip 8 – Find a tenant.
    It’s time to find someone to live in your property! Take some photographs that can be used on online agents’ websites, newspaper adverts or letting agents to find a tenant for the property.

    Tip 9 – Use a professional tenant reference system.
    A professional tenant reference can give you essential details about the people who are looking to move into your property. It would inform you of any criminal convictions, financial information & renting history. It is good practise to know who you are handing the keys to your property to. Always check that the potential tenants have the right to live in the UK. UK passports, European Economic Area passport or identity cards, permanent residence cards or travel documents showing indefinite leave to remain are all considered identity documents by the Government.

    Tip 10 – Create & sign a tenancy agreement. The most common form of tenancy agreement is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). This should include names of the tenants, the rental price & how it will be paid, the start & end date of the tenancy as well as any obligations that the tenant & the landlord have.
    www.gov.uk/tenancy-agreements-a-guide-for-landlords/what-you-should-include-in-a-tenancy-agreement

    Tip 11 – Provide an up to date copy of ‘How to Rent’ guide created by the Government.
    Landlords must provide an up to date copy of the ‘How to Rent’ guide. This will explain the rights & responsibilities that you and your tenants have.
    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/723773/How_to_Rent_Jul18.pdf

    Tip 12 – Take a deposit & first month’s rent.
    Landlords are entitled to request a deposit, just in case any damage or rent arrears occur during a tenant’s occupancy. This is usually the amount of 1 months’rent. As a landlord, you may also want to have the first months rent up front.

    Tip 13 – Certificate of Deposit Protection.
    If a tenant has provided a deposit, then the landlord must protect it in a Government approved scheme, such as, Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits or Tenancy Deposit Scheme, within 30days. You as the landlord must provide the official information to the tenant about how they will receive their deposit at the end of the tenancy. www.mydeposits.co.uk


    During Tenancy


    Tip 14 – Notify local council of new tenants. For the new tenants to pay the correct amount of council tax, the local council must be informed of the changes.

    Tip 15 – Let the utilities company know.
    If you have agreed within the AST that the new tenants will be paying the utility bills, you must let them know of the changes. Let the tenants know who the current providers of gas, electric and water, the tenant has the right to switch providers if they wish.

    Tip 16 – What days do the bins go out?
    It sounds simple, but this type of information is vital for new tenants. How many different bins do they have? What days are they collected?

    Tip 17 – Keys!
    Front door, back door, shed, window, garage… Make sure your new tenant has all the keys that they need for the property.

    Tip 18 – Locations of meters.
    Your new tenant must be shown where the meters for gas, electric & water are.

    Tip 19 – Show the tenants how to use the boiler.
    Nothing would be worse than spending a cold winters day without having been shown how to use the boiler. Make sure you show the tenant how to operate the boiler.

    Tip 20 – Show your tenants how to use the appliances.
    Your tenants may never have seen or used the appliances such as the washing machine or the dishwasher that you have in the property before. A quick lesson will help everyone get settled in faster.

    Tip 21 – Your property is a tenant’s new home.
    You can’t access the property whenever you like, you must give the tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before you visit, unless its an emergency. Keep in mind that it is the tenant’s home now.

    Tip 22 – Communication is key.
    It is always best practise to log all communications between yourselves and your tenants. Keep an email chain so that you can keep any key information if you need to present it at any time. Respond to any feedback or complaints within 14 days. Popping round to check on the property is not an option without clear communication at least 24 hours in advance.

    Tip 23 – Inspect to protect.
    As we noted previously, communication is key. It is always best to inspect the property from time to time. Always communicate your plan to inspect with the tenant at least 24 hours in advance of the visit. Communicate with the tenants as you inspect, find out of any issues or concerns or check if any jobs need being carried out. Give your feedback to the tenant, make sure you can work together in order maintain the property.

    Tip 24 – Maintain the property.
    Before you were looking for new tenants, you had repaired & renovated the property. Keep up those standards by doing any repair work that may need completed during a tenancy period. Tenants will only be responsible for maintaining their own fixtures & fittings, not those that were provided by you in the inventory.

    Tip 25 – The AST is coming to an end…What happens now?
    You have come to the end of the AST, what is next for you & the tenant? You both have decisions to make. Do you wish to continue with the current tenants & renew the AST or ask them to move out of the property? They might have already made the decision to move on, in that case you would have been communicating about this. The tenants must give you one months’ notice in this situation. Communication is key.


    End of Tenancy


    Tip 26 – Notice required.
    The current tenancy agreement has been decided to be ended with both parties moving on. Notice must be given on either side, for everyone to get ready for the future. If you are wanting the tenants to leave, then it is a legal requirement for you to give them two months’ notice once the fixed period has come to an end unless there is a breakout clause in the AST.

    Tip 27 – Start to find new tenants.
    We are back to square one… or Tip 8! It is time to find a new tenant for your property. You are restarting the checklist from this point. You are repairing & renovating, making sure all the risk assessments are up to date, all the gas safety certificates are in date etc. Making sure the property is looking great for when potential new tenants are visiting.

    Tip 28 – Revisit the inventory.
    As the tenants are preparing to vacate the property, for everyone to receive the right amount of deposit back, you must go back and revisit the inventory. Check the property & the furnishings for any damage caused, but not for reasonable wear & tear, as this will be your responsibility. This must be agreed by yourselves & the tenants before any deposit can be returned.

    Tip 29 – Agree on returning deposit.
    Once the inventory and the property has been checked, you must agree with the tenants the amount of the initial deposit you will be returning to them. Once you and the tenants have agreed on an amount, then you must repay the deposit within 10 days. If there are any disagreements from the tenants about how much of the deposit will be withheld from them then they have the right to make a complaint to your deposit protection scheme (Tip 13).

    Tip 30 – Start from scratch.
    The tenants have moved out & its time to start the process again :-)



    Here is our Landlord Checklist, designed to help you be an efficient landlord.
    (* You must have this by Law)

    Landlords Checklist



    Before Tenancy

    Property is licensed (Where applicable) *
    Check your Tax obligations*
    Consider joining a Landlord Accreditation Scheme
    Repair & renovate the property
    Make sure all risk assessments are up to date – Legionella, Fire & Asbestos *
    Check & install smoke & carbon monoxide alarms *
    Make sure buildings & landlord insurance is up to date *
    Gas safety certificates must be kept up to date – Annual check *
    Arrange an EPC – Must be E or above *
    Electrical items are checked*
    Check furniture supplied has required safety labels & fireproofed*
    Create an inventory
    Find a tenant
    Use a professional tenant reference system
    Right to Rent checks carried out*
    Create & sign a tenancy agreement *
    Guarantors Agreement (Where applicable) *
    Provide an up to date copy of ‘How to Rent’ guide created by the Government *
    Take a deposit & first month’s rent
    Certificate of Deposit Protection *

    During Tenancy

    Notify local council of new tenants
    Let the utilities company know
    Provide all the keys
    Information to tenants
    Locations of utility meters
    Show the tenants how to use the boiler & appliances
    Inspection of property
    Repair & Maintenance of Water, Gas, Electricity & Heating
    Safe & free from health hazards
    Maintain structure & exterior of property
    Carry out repairs
    Maintain any appliances or furniture that you supplied

    End of Tenancy
    Correct notice period arranged*
    Inspection of property
    Repair & renovate the property
    Revisit Inventory
    Agree of returning of deposit*
    Deposit returned*
    Take meter readings
    Collection of keys
    Find new tenants


    Useful Links

    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/723773/How_to_Rent_Jul18.pdf

    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/724604/How_to_Let_Jun18.pdf






    30 Hot Tips for Landlords

    Offices at

    Marble Arch
    29 Edgware Road
    London
    W2 2JE
    f: 020-7258-3090
    Knightsbridge
    34 Beauchamp Place
    London
    SW3 1NU
    f: 020-7581-7005