Getting paperwork ready
Before you start advertising your property, you should prepare the paperwork you'll need later.
The two most important things you'll need to prepare are a Tenant Information Pack and a tenancy agreement.
If you want the tenancy to be short assured rather than assured, you also have to give new tenants an AT5 form before any tenancy agreement is signed.
Tenant Information Pack
The Tenant Information Pack gives information to tenants in privately rented housing.
It tells tenants about their home, tenancy and landlord, and tells them what their responsibilities are (as well as your own responsibilities as a landlord).
It's your legal duty to give your tenant a Tenant Information Pack by the time they move into the property.
If you're using a letting agent, they can give one to the tenant on your behalf.
It's also your legal duty to give your tenant a written tenancy agreement. This tells the tenant all the terms of their lease.
Every tenancy agreement has to include:
- the name of the landlord and the name of the tenant
- the address of the property being rented
- the amount of rent to be paid
- how long the lease is for
An agreement should also give information on:
- whether the tenancy is assured or short assured
- whether the rent covers services (gas or electricity) and who's responsible for paying council tax (usually the tenant)
- the date the rent should be paid, and how it should be paid (such as cheque or direct debit)
- the amount of deposit to be paid and in what circumstances it won't be returned
- who should be responsible for repairing and decorating the property
- whether any furniture is provided
- how much notice the tenant or landlord have to give to end the lease
- whether lodgers or subletting are allowed
- any other terms, like whether the tenant has to look after a garden, or whether they're allowed to keep a pet
The above lists only set out some of the requirements of the tenancy agreement, yours may be different.