Tips on Letting Your Property

This note gives an overview of the issues when renting a property where the landlord is not resident or normally living in the property.

There are 3 main ways to earn a rent from letting or leasing your property.
  • Short lets tend to be for tenants moving in for less than six months for which you need a contract.
  • If you are letting your property for over 6 months this tends to be known as a long let and you need a proper tenancy agreement. This is necessary to be able to reclaim your property at the end of the lease period.
  • Holiday lets should be no problem getting tenants to move out at the end of the holiday but have a good agreement so everyone knows the rules.

Tips For Letting your Property

  • If letting your property for ‘sharing’ make sure all the people living in the property are joint tenants named on the lease.
  • Do not rent to people you do not trust. Check references. If you are concerned about getting paid ask for a guarantor in the rental agreement.
  • If taking in a lodger into the home where you currently live see Letting your home link.
  • You should always keep you insurance company, bank or mortgage company informed about your intention to rent. On some mortgages this may be prohibited or cost more
  • Landlords are generally responsible for the maintenance and major repairs to a property. This includes repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water installations, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations.
  • If the property is considered to be a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) you will need a local council license.

Safety Issues

  • A property should be safe and healthy for occupiers, so responsibility should be taken to ensure that the dwelling is capable of providing adequate heating. The electricity and gas supplies must be connected, the drains, sinks, baths and WCs be in working order and there is a water heating facility. The property should be is free from damp and there should be no fall or trip hazards.
  • Landlords must ensure that all gas appliances and installations are maintained in good order. This involves gas boilers and fires getting an annual safety check, carried out by someone who is registered with Gas Safe Register. Keep a record of the safety checks, and issue it to your tenants within 28 days of each annual check.
  • (The occupier is responsible for maintaining gas appliances which they own, or are entitled to take with them at the end of the letting.)
  • By law, landlords must make sure that the electrical system and any electrical appliances supplied with the let, like washing machines and toasters, are safe to use. Electrical wiring and appliances must be maintained in a safe condition for the length of the tenancy.
  • The 2004 Housing Act requires an adequate means of escape for fire safety. Depending on the size of the property, smoke alarms and fire extinguishing equipment may be needed.
  • Make sure any furniture and furnishings provided meet the fire resistance regulations

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