5th June 2018
Q: What do I need to do in order to get my property ready to let?
A: This question is too broad to completely answer here, as there is a lot to cover; and my answer would vary from property to property. Here I’ll give you some tips to start with:
Make sure that you have obtained permission to let your property out from your mortgage company, or the freeholder if it is in an apartment. There may be special clauses, or paperwork for you to complete.
Make sure you have any necessary planning permissions if you are making any changes. For example, if you are converting a property to an HMO (house in multiple occupation). In some cases, you will need permission from the freeholder to carry out works.
If there are any gas appliances at the property you will need to comply with the Gas Regulations. The appliances will have to be checked by a Gas Safe Contractor who will give you a certificate. The check must be done before the tenants go in, and annually thereafter. Make sure you provide your tenants with a copy.
You will need to comply with all the various safety regulations. For example, all furniture provided must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings Regulations. This means that all soft furnishings, e.g. sofas, headboards, cushions and cloth covers on seats, mattresses etc. must be fire retardant and carry the relevant label.
You will need to ensure your property’s EPC rating is an E or above, as anything lower than this would not be allowed to be marketed.
Smoke alarms must be fitted on all floors where there is living accommodation, and a carbon monoxide alarm in all rooms with the facility to burn solid fuel. These need to be tested on the first day of the tenancy, and then become the responsibility of the tenant.
Although it is not a general legal requirement at present (unless your property is an HMO), you should get the electrical wiring regularly checked, as you will be held responsible if it is found to be defective.
Make sure you have adequate insurance cover, general household insurance will not be sufficient. There are specialist policies available for landlords.
Keep records of all work done and all receipts, and any certificates and guarantees. It is a good idea to have an independent inventory done to list of all furniture, electrical equipment, and general items in the property, with a note of their condition and to check this over every time the property is vacated and then re-let.
Remember, this doesn’t have to be a hassle. We can take the headache for you. Get in touch to see how we can help.