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The Documents that London Landlords Must Have

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:

·
Documents that you must keep.
Landlords are required by law to keep records covering things such as safety
inspections and deposits.

  • Documents that it is wise to keep.
    Although not obligatory, these records serve as an unofficial insurance
    policy should a dispute arise. If you wind up in court, you don’t want to
    rely on a vague recollection that “you paid a guy who was either called
    Terry or Trevor sometime in 2019 to sort out a few maintenance issues”.
    Firm dates, times and details of conversations and actions provide a vital
    paper trail.

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
 – 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 the
property must have at least an E rating.

5
Landlord registration
– Some local authorities in England require
landlords to sign up to a register. Check the rules in your local area.

6
Fire safety
– Keep all paperwork relating to smoke alarms
(you need one on every floor) 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.

11 Right
to Rent
– A
landlord must check that tenants have the correct immigration status to reside
in the UK. Landlords must keep copies of all relevant documents.

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 Holland Properties, 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.

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