If you’ve got a flat to spare, you might want to put it to good use by renting it out. This is a great way to make a living or earn some extra cash on the side. It also ensures that your flat isn’t just languishing without anyone using it. Before you can let your flat, there’s a couple of things you have to take care of to ensure that you’re complying with regulations. Here’s a handy checklist to help you get started as a landlord:
Energy Performance Certificate
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are required for newly constructed buildings or existing buildings that are being sold or rented out. They’re valid for ten years upon receiving them. An EPC provides information on your building’s energy use and energy costs. It will also help you by recommending ways to save money and minimize your energy usage. Energy efficiency ratings range from A to G. A being the most efficient while G is the least efficient.
Fire Safety Devices
To ensure the safety of your potential tenants, you’ll need to make sure that carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are installed on your property. You also have to ensure that they’re working properly.
Health and Safety Inspection
Your council will need to issue a Housing Health and Safety Rating System on your property. This rating assures people that the area and the flat is safe for anyone to live in. You can ask for one to be done on your property, but sometimes a tenant or the council may ask to have one done on behalf of you.
Landlord insurance isn’t mandatory, but it’s good to have just in case. Especially because it’s the landlord’s responsibility to oversee repairs. You can’t always guarantee that your tenants will take good care of your property, and you can’t predict calamities, so having insurance ensures that you won’t have to spend so much on costly repairs.
Again, a detailed inventory isn’t compulsory, but it’s definitely useful. This is a comprehensive list of all the contents inside your property that you’re allowing your tenant to use. Don’t forget to let your tenant read through, sign, and date the inventory list as well.
Gas Safety Certificate
You’ll need to arrange an annual gas safety check to be done on your flat to make sure that your property is Gas Safe. If the heating engineer that visits your flat sees to it that your appliances are in excellent working condition, then you will be issued a gas safety certificate.
Before you can rent out your property, you’ll need to pay the income tax on your rental income minus your daily consecutive living expenses.
A tenancy agreement is an official contract between you and your tenant. This formally allows them to live in your flat and pay you monthly rent. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement is the most common form of tenancy and covers most of the important details you’ll need as a landlord, including but not limited to the breakdown of rental payments, information about the property, landlord, and tenant, and the period of the tenancy.
This is most of what you’ll need to get started on your journey to becoming a landlord. Make sure you comply with regulations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free rental process.