Owning property can be a great way to make extra money or fund your retirement. However, being a residential landlord comes with both legal obligations and tax obligations, and that means paperwork.
It’s essential that you keep all of your property records and the rental income generated by your property. Nobody likes paperwork, but it’s important to stay organised. If you lose your documentation, you’ll find it much more difficult to resolve disputes with your tenants and you won’t be able to prove that you’ve met your legal obligations.
There are a lot of documents that you need to keep copies of, and you want to be able to access them quickly and safely. You could also consider using electronic versions of your documents. Here are six documents that are especially important to protect:
Table of Contents
A tenancy agreement is the legally binding agreement between you and the tenants in your tenancy agreement. The most common type of tenancy agreement is an AST. An AST gives you the power to take possession of the property when the tenancy ends. Your tenancy agreement will include:
- Your personal details and that of your tenant
- The date on which the tenancy will begin
- The length of the tenancy
- The amount of rent payable
- All other expenses payable by the tenant
- The services that you will undertake to provide
Right to rent supporting documents
If you are a landlord in England, you are legally prohibited from letting your property to any non-residents who do not meet the criteria for the ‘Right to Rent’. Landlords who allow illegal immigrants to rent their property face substantial penalties. Therefore, it is essential to be thorough in your checks of your prospective tenants and to keep all relevant documents. There are certain documents that are accepted for a ‘Right to Rent check’. The government has published a list of documents that are commonly available and can be checked and kept.
This document should include a description of the contents of your property, the current status of the contents and also the current condition of your property. This document could be very important in resolving disputes concerning the return of your tenant’s deposits.
The best way to prepare this document is by having an independent third party prepare it for you on the day of the tenant’s move-in. This document should be as comprehensive as possible. All parties should start by initialing each page of the document and then signing it and receiving a copy.
Deposits protection scheme
Landlords have had to protect tenants’ deposits since 6 April 2007 to make it easier to sort out disputes and make sure tenants get their money back when they should. The deposits have to be protected under any of the schemes started by the government.
Gas safety certificate
If your gas equipment isn’t properly maintained, it could cause an explosion or CO poisoning. You’re responsible for making sure your tenants know how to use the appliances safely. You’ll need to keep a log of all inspections and give your tenant a gas safety certificate every year. If you don’t, you’re violating the law.
Electrical installation condition report
Since June 2020, landlords have to get their electrical installations checked by a professional at least once a year. After the check, you’ll get a report telling you what they found out. If any part of your property’s electrics isn’t working properly, you’ll have to get all the repairs you need done.
If you’re a residential landlord, you’re probably working full time, caring for a family or managing multiple properties. This means you’ll have a lot of demands on your time, which can make it hard to keep track of your paperwork and manage your portfolio. Arboretumlettings.com, the letting agents in Derby will help you manage your property so you can get the rental income you deserve without worrying about your legal obligations. Get in touch with us today.