A guide to moving in day for Landlords
Regardless of whether this is the first – or the fiftieth – time you have welcomed a new tenant into your property, there are a few steps to go through to make life infinitely easier for yourself in the process.
Build a Relationship
We don’t mean become best buddies with your tenant overnight, but rather chat with them and establish some sort of friendly relationship. That way they’ll feel you’re approachable if anything goes wrong on their side. And likewise, you won’t feel too bad about sending them a reminder if the rent is late once in a while.
Make Sure It’s All Legal
Get them to sign the tenancy agreement on moving in (if you haven’t done so already). You’ll then be able to show them the relevant certificates. This includes the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), Gas Safety Certificate (also known as a CP12) and the electricity inspection report. A Portable Appliance Test (PAT) is also necessary for any electrical equipment, such as a toaster or kettle etc.
At the same time ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every floor of the property, a carbon monoxide tester in any rooms with a fire and, if appropriate, fire doors.
Under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act you are also obliged to ensure the property you are renting out is free from damp, mould, infestations and other similar nasties.
Clean the Property
A quick paint of the walls to freshen things up never goes amiss for a new tenancy (especially if the last tenant was there for several years). It shows the new tenant you’ve made a real effort to have the place look nice for them – and hopefully they’ll keep it nice in return! No doubt you will already have had the property professionally cleaned after the last tenant moved out. But, if some time has passed between then and now, it’s not a bad idea to nip round with a duster and hoover.
Take Meter Readings
Taking meter readings with your new tenant present means you can chase up any outstanding bills with the previous tenants. It also lets the new tenants know they don’t have to worry about it and can go off and find a new supplier etc.
Supply Tenants With an Inventory
Provide an updated inventory of how the furniture is looking and the contents of the flat in general. It helps to take photographs too in case there is a dispute over ‘wear and tear’ or ‘damage.’ As such you should include any damage which has already been inflicted, such as a carpet which has a stain on it or a cushion which is already marked etc.
Produce a Tenant’s Info Pack
This Info Pack is now a legal obligation. In it should be the copies of the relevant utilities’ certificates and the EPC. There will also be a copy of the government’s How to Rent guide. Fail to do this and you’ll have difficulty evicting your tenant if they turn out to be not what you were hoping for.
When your tenant finally arrives and received the Tenant’s Info Pack it’s then a good idea to go through the inventory with them and show them how things work eg the boiler, a difficult-to-open window etc.
At this point you can also ask them which communication method is easier for them ie email, telephone, text etc. Urge them to contact you if there’s an emergency with the property eg plumbing, heating etc.
If you’re using a letting agent to manage the property then now is the time to tell them and to give them the agent’s contact details. You might want the agent to be there at the same time so he or she can meet the tenant too.
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