Letting a property in Willesden Green can provide a sustainable source of income for many years. However, before renting it out, there are several responsibilities that need to be taken into consideration. Here is an overview of what to do before placing your property on the rental market.
Your property becomes an assured shorthold tenancy
Unless otherwise specified, letting out your residential property means the tenancy becomes an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), which is part of the 1988 Housing Act. This means:
Arrange a tenancy agreement before the move in date
When considering letting a property in Willesden, it is vitally important you get your tenant to sign the tenancy agreement before they move in. Oral agreements are difficult to enforce, and once they have moved in, the tenant is under no obligation to sign an agreement.
Arranging one beforehand allows you to set specific clauses you feel will protect the property during occupation. If you do not supply a written tenancy agreement, by law you must provide the tenant with written details about the tenancy terms within 6 months of the moving in date.
If you do not feel the tenant is right for the property, or they cannot supply references or a sufficient deposit, you have every right to not offer a tenancy. However, there must be no discrimination regarding their gender, race, sexuality, religion or physical condition.
Always use a deposit protection scheme
Since December 1st 2017, it is now law that any deposit paid by a tenant after April 6th 2007 must be place into a tenancy deposit protection scheme. This ensures their deposit is safeguarded until the end of the tenancy.
The deposit must be placed into an authorised deposit protection scheme within 30 days of being received. You must also provide full details of the scheme to the tenant, along with their rights.
Taking care of property repairs
An important point to remember when letting in Willesden Green, is that landlords are generally responsible for taking care of most structural repairs. This includes things such as flooring, roofing, walls and windows, as well as electrical wiring, gas supply and any fixed heaters in the property.
If there are any issues with the plumbing, toilets, basins, sinks and baths, this will also be the responsibility of the landlord to fix.
Additional repair clauses
The tenancy agreement should detail the type of repairs the landlord or tenant are responsible for. The law is structured to ensure the tenant is not asked to take on too much. However, you can ask the tenant to take charge of smaller repair duties, such as decorating, or not letting the interior fall into disrepair.
Electrical and gas safety
As a landlord in North West London, you are fully responsible for the safety and maintenance of gas installations and appliances in the property. A safety check by a qualified gas engineer must be carried out at least once every 12 months.
Any heaters, kettles, cookers or any other electrical appliances supplied with the property should also checked to ensure they are safe for use.
Provide a detailed inventory
Before the tenant moves into your Willesden Green property, you should provide a full list of furniture and any other items that have been provided. This will include a clear description, along with its condition and age. Both the landlord and the tenant can then sign and date the tenancy. When the tenant moves out, the inventory is checked to ensure no damage has occurred.