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Have you overlooked these rent checks or has your landlord overlooked this?

Landlords are reminded of the list of checks to do before renting out a property.

Rental agents Douglas & Gordon have put together a handy list that landlords can use to make the rental process as smooth as possible.

It includes checks such as obtaining legal documents, including an energy performance certificate.

It also suggests getting a thorough inventory that can help avoid potential disputes down the line.

Landlords are urged to ensure they are aware of the regulations and steps to take before renting a property

Landlords are urged to ensure they are aware of the regulations and steps to take before renting a property

Warren McCann, of Douglas & Gordon, said: ‘A happy tenant will stay in a property longer, reduce the period of vacancy and set up the cost of a new lease.

“Avoid the unnecessary conflicts that can easily escalate if basic needs are not met. Do the basics and make a plan.’

Meanwhile, North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf said: ‘Landlords need to be so careful when renting out properties, especially if they are considering managing it themselves, as there are 160 rules and regulations that affect the letting industry.

“Mistakes can be costly, not only to lose money, but jail terms can also be on the agenda.”

Our landlord checklist contains useful information about the importance of inventories

Our landlord checklist contains useful information about the importance of inventories

Our landlord checklist contains useful information about the importance of inventories

He added: “Leasing agents have become more compliance officers, trying to balance the interests of landlords and tenants.

“Some landlords believe that self-management means they are more likely to go free for any violations than they would if agents were involved, but this is simply not the case.

“Landlords who engage the services of a real estate agent should make sure they use someone who is suitably qualified and experienced so that they reduce the risk of having an untrustworthy tenant who won’t pay the market rent or leave when you want to.”

Here is the checklist for landlords, from rental agent Douglas & Gordon…

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

A property needs an energy performance certificate before it can be placed on the market.

These certificates assess a home’s energy efficiency and environmental impact, on a scale from A to G. Landlords need an energy efficiency rating of E or higher to rent a home.

An EPC is valid for 10 years and only needs to be renewed after this time.

Electrical installation certificate report (EICR)

Another legal document that a landlord must have before renting out their property is a satisfactory EICR report.

These last for five years, but must comply with the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. . The 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations is the most recent update to the national standards that electrical installations must comply with, as established by the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The electrician will test 10 to 20 percent of the wiring in the house and will also test outlets, switches, lights and the fuse box.

Any repairs must be done before the rental can begin.

Gas

A home must also have a valid gas certificate to ensure all appliances are safe to use.

These last for one year, during which the broker and tenant of your choice are in possession of a copy of the valid certificate.

Testing portable devices

Portable devices must be safe for use by tenants.

Douglas & Gordon suggests making sure this is the case by booking a PAT test, which only needs to be done once a year.

Smoke and carbon detectors

All properties require a working smoke detector on each floor of the property.

And carbon monoxide detectors are also necessary with an open flue or a wood-burning appliance.

If the property requires a permit, the local government may require a wired smoke detector.

Fire and furniture

In accordance with the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, landlords must ensure that all furniture on your property has the necessary labeling to demonstrate that it is fire safe. explains Douglas & Gordon

This includes all upholstered furniture, as well as items such as beds, mattresses, pillows and headboards.

Referring to

Landlords are also advised to refer all tenants to ensure they are the best fit for your property. It can also reveal any issues that could become a problem later on.

Licenses

There are three types of permits in accordance with the Housing Act 2004.

Mandatory House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) is national and applies to houses with five or more residents from two or more households.

Additional HMO permits are municipality dependent and apply to homes with three or more residents from two or more households.

Selective licensing is municipality dependent and depends on the street where the property is located.

Cleaning

It may be tempting to skip this item on this list, as some landlords may see it as an unnecessary expense.

However, a professional cleaning can set the tone for how landlords expect the property to be maintained — and left behind when the tenants leave.

As Douglas & Gordon explains, ‘This helps with inventory and sets a standard for tenants when they move out.’

Stocks (check ins and outs)

In the busy period of arranging a lease, an inventory can often be overlooked.

However, a professional inventory can prove to be one of the most useful documents if performed by a trusted third party.

This is because it can help minimize any disputes about the condition of a home when a tenant moves out — and how it differs from the condition of the home at the start of the lease.

A trusted third party can go through the inventory and fill out a check-in and check-out schedule.

legionella

Landlords have a duty of care to ensure that necessary precautions are taken to prevent water stagnation that could lead to the growth of Legionella.

This includes flushing the system before letting the property out if it has been vacant and preventing debris from entering the system – such as making sure the cold water tanks, if fitted, have a tight-fitting lid.

It also includes setting control parameters – such as setting the temperature of the hot water cylinder to ensure the water is stored at 60°C – and removing excess pipework.

blind cords

New blinds with loop cords must have child restraints installed at the point of manufacture or sold with the blind.

However, previously installed blinds may not have these features.

Landlords are urged to secure them by fitting a net, tensioner, or cleat. Tidies and tensioners must be securely fastened to an adjacent surface so that the cord or chain is held permanently taut.

Cords should be tied in a figure-of-eight after each use of the blind, making sure all spare cord is secured to the cleat.

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