There’s more to renting out a property than just handing over the keys. Once you’ve found your tenant, these are the vital pieces of information you'll need to share with them.
1. A copy of the Government’s ‘How to rent’ checklist
This is an easy one. It's a Governmnent checklist with detailed information on each stage of the renting process, and landords and lettings agents must provide their tenants with it by law. You can find it on the Government website here.
2. A gas safety certificate
If the property you are letting has any gas appliances, such as an oven or hob, you must have the property checked by a gas safety engineer every 12 months and then supply the certificate to your tenant.
Fail to do this and you can be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) where penalties can range from a fine to imprisonment.
3. Details of the Deposit Protection Scheme
If your rental home is in England and Wales and let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), you are legally required to hold your tenant's deposit in a Government-backed Tenancy Deposit scheme.
You'll need to supply your tenant with the paperwork for this within 30 days.
A TDS is an independent third-party scheme designed to offer protection for both landlord and the tenant should there be a dispute at the end of the contract.
There are three providers to choose from – The Deposit Protection Service (DPS), The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and MyDeposits.
At the end of the tenancy, you will have 10 days to return the deposit.
For more on how the schemes work, take a look at our Q&A.
4. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
The next document to get ready for tour tenant is the EPC, a certificate which rates the energy-efficiency of your property and sets down estimated energy costs.
All properties receive a rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
In 2018, new regulations were introduced which mean landlords can only let their property if it receives an EPC rating of E or higher.
You can read more about these EPC rules here.
5. Relevant contact details
Finally, you are also legally obligated to provide your tenant with your contact details (or those of your lettings agent). This must include your name, address and a telephone number in case of an emergency.
Smoke alarms must be fitted on each floor, while carbon monoxide alarms are mandatory in rooms with appliances using solid fuel (e.g. coal and wood).
You should also provide a record of any electrical inspections. All appliances must be deemed safe and checks are recommended every five years.