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Tenancy deposits and moving in

Once your property has been advertised and you've chosen a tenant you're happy with, you have to deal with the paperwork and deposit.

Give a copy of the tenancy agreement to your tenant and keep one for yourself. Make sure all the copies are signed by everyone.

You should also give your tenant a copy of the correct information notes, either on paper or digitally. You may want to ask them to either sign a receipt or reply to you by email saying they've received the tenancy agreement and notes.

You should also give your tenant:

  • an Annual Landlord Gas Safety Record certificate
  • the Energy Performance Certificate
  • electrical safety certificates
  • information on how to report repairs and emergencies

Rent and deposits

Before the tenant moves in, arrange the deposit and the first rent payment with them.

If you collect a tenancy deposit, you must lodge it with a third party tenancy deposit scheme. The scheme protects your tenant's deposit until it's due to be repaid.

There are 3 schemes you can register with:

You have to do this within 30 working days of the tenancy starting. Where you and the tenant agree that they will pay the tenancy deposit in instalments, you (the landlord) should lodge each instalment within 30 working days of receiving them.

You should also tell your tenant which Tenancy Deposit Scheme their deposit is in and the other information you are required by law to provide. This will help sort out any disputes when the tenancy ends.

Telling the council

Once all the paperwork is signed, give your council your tenant's details and their moving in date.

Let your tenant know the council has their details for council tax purposes, and tell them what council tax band the property is in so they know how much to pay.

Moving in day

On the day the tenant is due to move into the property, there are some final steps to take. You should:

  • hand over the keys to the tenant
  • show the tenant where the stopcock is to turn off the water supply, how to turn off the electricity and how to reset the electricity if a fuse blows
  • give the tenant a copy of the inventory and ask them to return it, signed, with any changes or additions
  • arrange to visit in a few months to make sure the tenant is settling in and there are no problems
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