04 October 2017

Posted by Discount Insurance on Wednesday, October 04, 2017
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Whether you own one property or 5 it is important to keep on top of all the paperwork to ensure that everything is legally in order for all the properties you are letting out and easily accessible if you need it. We have combined a list of ten key pieces of documentation you should have up to date and to hand.

Energy Performance Certificate also known as EPC. Before you can market your property for rent you must be in possession of a valid EPC with the rating clearly displayed on all advertisements of the property. You must have a copy for any prospective tenants to view and one to provide to your tenants when they move in.

Gas Safety Certificate proving that the gas system in the property has been checked by a Gas Safety registered engineer within the last 12 months and is in full working order. This is an annual check that needs to be completed at your property. Ensure you provide your tenants with a copy and if your property is a HMO it needs to be clearly displayed in a communal area.

Fire Risk Assessment form. Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) you have an obligation to identify potential hazards in the property and take any reasonable steps to minimize the risk of your tenant suffering injury. The best way to prove you have completed this check is to complete a risk assessment form available online here or from your local fire department. It is a good idea to have a qualified safety professional carry out the assessment on your behalf, ensure you keep the form safe and revise every few years or when there’s a change to the hazards in the property.

Domestic Electrical Installation Certificate/Electrical Installation Condition report. The certificate normally issued when a system is installed or updated and the condition report when it’s tested. In an HMO the electrics must legally be checked every five years. In a single let property there is no specific timescale for regular inspections however you are legally obliged to ensure the electrical system is safe. Electrical Safety First recommends inspections on change of tenancy or every five years. You do not need to provide tenants with the paperwork but you might have to prove when the last inspection took place in case of any problems.

'Right to rent’ check paperwork and any correspondence and other information obtained when you verified your tenants identity and their legal status within the UK. In case your tenants are ever proven to be in the UK illegally you must be able to show you took every care to check their status. Remember to make a note of any visa expiry dates so that you can re-check the documents when needed.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy or other tenancy agreement. It is vital that you do not let any tenant move into the property without signing a tenancy agreement. This agreement should demonstrate that the tenant understands their rights and responsibilities and agrees to comply with them. If you ever need or want the tenant to leave the property it is vital you are able to quickly and clearly identify the date the tenancy started and the terms of agreement so you can serve the correct notices at the right time.

Tenant’s personal details. If anything goes wrong during the tenancy such as the tenant leaving without notice, falling into rent arrears or suffering an injury, you should be able to quickly access all of their details.

Inventory. A thorough inventory taken at the start of the tenancy is essential. Make sure this is signed by your tenant, verifying that all information is correct and they agree with the contents of it. It’s advisable you take this to the property every time you conduct an inspection so that any damage to the property can be addressed as it is discovered rather than at the end of the tenancy which can be a few years down the line.

Tenancy deposit protect information. If you are providing your tenants with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and taking a deposit, you have to legally provide the tenant with details of the scheme you’ve used to protect their deposit and the reference number. When a tenancy ends you will need the deposit ID reference and also your repayment ID in order to release the deposit.

Landlord insurance policy schedule, policy wording and key facts. Emergencies can happen at any time so it is vital you can quickly access your insurer’s details, phone numbers and the level of cover that is provided if you need to make a claim.

Discount Insurance can provide you with comprehensive Landlord Insurance - get a quote by calling 0800 294 4522!