In this three-minute read, we look at the documentation landlords need to meet their legal obligations – and avoid messy disputes.
First-time landlords often make the rookie mistake of underestimating the amount of paperwork involved in letting a property.
Many assume that once the ink dries on a tenancy agreement, they’ve got the paperwork sorted – but nothing could be further from the truth.
Record-keeping is an integral part of a landlord’s duties and falls into two categories:
Here’s a checklist of documents landlords need to keep:
1 Gas safety certificate – Landlords are required by law to have gas appliances such as hobs checked every year by a Gas Safety registered engineer.
2 Electrical safety report – Electrical safety inspections must be carried out by a qualified sparky every five years.
3 Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – A landlord must place a tenant’s deposit in an approved TDS within 30 days of payment.
4 Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – Landlords need to get an EPC every ten years. A registered assessor must carry out the inspection, and in the near future the property will require to have at least an E rating.
5 Landlord registration – Landlords in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are required to register with the local council.
6 Fire safety – Keep all paperwork relating to smoke alarms and heat sensors (you’re likely to need at least 3) and carbon monoxide alarms (you need one in any room with a solid fuel-burning appliance).
7 Property inventory – An in-depth report of the property and its furniture, fixtures and appliances will help you resolve any quibbles over belongings or damage at the end of a tenancy.
8 Landlord insurance – A condition of most buy-to-let mortgages, landlord insurance covers you in the event of flood or fire and for legal claims if someone injures themselves in your property.
9 Repair works – Keep all paperwork relating to repairs carried out on the property.
10 Tenant inspections – Keep a record of when you visit the property during the tenancy, and any issues raised. Follow up conversations with an email outlining your discussions.
When it comes to record-keeping, many landlords have good intentions but struggle to keep up over time. If you don’t have the energy or inclination to handle the paperwork that is part and parcel of being a landlord, a letting agent can do it for you.
Here at Scottish Property Centre, we’re pedants when it comes to paperwork and pros at keeping tabs on tenancies. If you’d like us to help you manage your property, get in touch.