Critical Documents For New Tenancies
If you’re a landlord who is about to rent out your property via an online property agent or letting agency, then it’s going to be an extremely busy time for you. However, one thing you must make sure of is that you give your tenants all the critical paperwork needed at the start of a tenancy. This will also help protect you, should problems arise at a later date. Though documents may vary in Scotland, this is the current list of paperwork they must legally be furnished with:
How to Rent booklet:
This is published by the government and contains all the advice and guidelines tenants need as well as the rights they have. The copy you give your tenants should be physical and on paper, though if they agree to it, a digital version may be sent via email. It’s also imperative that they are given the latest edition, and not one from previous years where laws or guidelines may have changed.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC):
As of April 2018, all rental accommodation must by law have a minimum energy rating of “E”. It is illegal to rent a property without an EPC, but thankfully all Energy Performance Certificates are valid for 10 years. Tenants must be given a copy of the latest certification.
Gas Safety Certificate:
The Gas Safety Certificate is perhaps the single most important legal document here. It should be renewed every 12 months and tenants should be presented with the current certificate. It is also possible that you may have to renew the gas safety certificate during the tenancy. In this case, tenants must be given a copy of the new document within 28 days.
It is common knowledge that a tenant’s deposit must be protected via a deposit protection scheme. Tenants must also be given details and paperwork regarding this within 30 days. The information contained within relates to the scheme itself as well as how the tenant will get their deposit back when the tenancy ends.
Why Is This Important?
If you do not serve your tenants the correct paperwork, you may have limited legal grounds by which to challenge any issues which arise. This could also mean that you’re not allowed to serve them a Section 21 Notice to legally evict them, should you need to. Regarding deposit paperwork, you may also have to pay them compensation if the correct deposit procedure is not adhered to.
The above paperwork is critical when it comes to both landlord and tenant rights. There are several other documents that are needed, too. A tenancy agreement is the obvious one, allowing tenants to be crystal clear about what the tenancy involves, and if through their actions they are breaching it.
It is also a good idea to furnish them with emergency contact details, should anything in the property break down and become a risk. This will speed up the process of repair, allowing both tenant and landlord increased peace of mind.
Electrical Safety Certificates are not mandatory by law, but they will help build a stronger relationship between the two parties, instilling confidence in the tenants that the landlord is responsible when it comes to safety.
Lastly, it’s also a good idea to give them the manuals of the property’s appliances. This means if there is any glitches or errors regarding things like white goods, they won’t be on the phone every few days asking for you to fix common, rectifiable problems.
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