Once you’ve found a suitable tenant for your property, and gone through the ‘screening process’ to ensure that they’re the right fit, you’ll need to prepare your property for their arrival.
How should I prepare for a new tenant?
Inspect the property
Firstly, as a landlord we recommend that, before a new tenant moves in, you inspect the property to make sure that it is clean, tidy and in a good state of repair.
This will include photographing and documenting the state of the property before the tenant commences their letting agreement.
It will then be easier to let to new tenants, market with local estate agents and, obviously, viewings will be much smoother if the property is impeccably presented and ready to let.
Make sure that you update all of your prescribed documents, including your:
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Gas Safety Certificates (require annual renewals)
- Government How To Rent Guide (this guide includes a list of obligations that you have as a landlord)
- Deposit protection Certificate
- Landlord’s Insurance/Buildings Insurance
Learn from past mistakes
If you’ve been a landlord before, you should learn from previous tenancies to avoid the same mistakes in the future.
If there have been complaints or neighbour issues, try and address them at the outset. Tell the neighbours that new tenants are moving in and make sure the property is ready.
Other steps to take
This is also a good opportunity to make any outstanding repairs or improvements to the Property before new tenants move in.
Ensure that the property is cleaned, an updated inventory is taken, and a suitable Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (AST) is in place, before placing new tenants in the Property.
How do you introduce yourself to a tenant as a new landlord?
It’s always a good idea to introduce yourself to a tenant in the form of an introduction letter.
A well-written letter can show your tenant you’re organised, prepared for their arrival, have time for them (unlike many landlords) and, most importantly, that you’re approachable and easy to talk to.
A landlord-tenant relationship is a two-way straight, it’s important to instil trust, approachability and ease of access right from the start; so that this is reciprocated throughout the tenancy.
If your tenant has any issues or notices a problem with the property, you want them to come and speak to you; a well-drafted introduction can help a tenant to feel like they can talk to you.
What to include in a landlord introduction letter
What to include in an introduction letter is up to you, but we recommend including the following:
- Introductions – a bit about you, who you are, whether you’re an experienced landlord etc.
- Rent payment arrangements – confirm the rent amount, to who it should be paid, how often etc.
- Contact information – give them your email address, phone number etc.
- Management company info – if the property is owned by a management company, give them information and/or contact details for that company
- Perhaps set up a property inspection – so you can meet them in person
- Ask for their contact information – so you can get in touch with them directly at any time
What documents do landlords need to give tenants?
You’ll need to give your tenant all of the prescribed documents that we listed earlier in this article, as well as a copy of the tenancy agreement and a property inventory.
Read the importance of having a suitable tenancy agreement here.
Landlords are obliged to provide updated information to their tenant throughout the tenancy, therefore if the landlord does move address or change an identity – the relevant updating notices will need to be served on the tenant.
What information do I need from a new tenant?
Outside of the initial ‘screening process’, where you might check employment status, wage slips and bank statements, there isn’t much information that you’ll need from your tenant.
As I outlined above, you should get their contact details so that you can get in touch with them whenever you might need to.
If there is a guarantor (someone who’s agreed to pay the tenant’s rent if they’re unable to), make sure to get their name and address as well.
Property Litigation Advice
If you feel that you would benefit from advice on any Landlord & Tenant issues, including evictions, please feel free to contact our bright Landlord & Tenant Team.
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