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Landlord Checklist: Documents

Being a landlord can feel overwhelming at times. With various legislation and procedures to follow to the letter, many wish they had a bit of a helping hand, a document to guide them such as a landlord checklist. Thankfully, there is help available to keep you on the right side of legislation, whilst at the same time helping you build lasting, successful relationships with your tenants.

The Portsmouth & District Private Landlord’s Association (PDPLA), established in 1985, has created a free landlord checklist for renting a property in the UK, which we’ve summarised in this helpful guide for landlords. The landlord checklist details the documents you’ll need to provide, along with pre-tenancy, new tenancy, during the tenancy and end-of-tenancy tasks, as well as helpful websites for landlords.

As an association formed to represent landlords, they understand the concerns and needs of PRS landlords. However, it should be noted that this list is not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice.

Landlord Checklist

Having the right documents as a landlord is important to protect not only your tenants but yourself and your business. Crucial for ensuring everyone’s safety and compliance with the law, knowing what needs to be in place (ahead of time) is key. This can avoid fines or legal action further down the line, providing welcomed peace of mind.

However, the UK estate agent Chancellors suggests you should first confirm whether you’re allowed (by law) to rent your property. Typical mortgages allow lending for the occupation by the named persons only, and buy-to-let properties could still have certain restrictive terms regarding the tenants or tenancy you want to advertise.

Once this research has been undertaken, it’s time to follow the PDPLA’s landlord checklist for renting a house or apartment.

Property Documents

Every tenant has the right to live somewhere clean, safe and fit for habitation. As a responsible landlord, you’ll naturally take pride in meeting these needs by having the correct paperwork in place.

Therefore, having the following certificates on the PDPLA’s landlord checklist is non-negotiable:

  • Buildings Insurance

  • Landlord Insurance

  • Gas Safety Certificate

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). A minimum of an ‘E’ Rating

  • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). An Electrical Safety Certificate

  • Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC). For any new installation or modification of electrics

  • Minor Electrical Installation Work Certificate (MEIWC). For any installation or modification of electrics that doesn’t include a new electrical circuit.

Tenant Documents

This group of documents is helpful to both landlords and their tenants. It includes fundamental arrangements covering the terms of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, GDPR Privacy Notice and the tenant’s deposit (if applicable).

You should have these documents to hand, so everyone is clear on the nature of the tenancy:

  • Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST)

  • Guarantors Agreement where required

  • Confirmation (in writing) from the tenant that they’re happy to receive letting documents by email

  • Copied evidence (e.g. passport) to prove all tenants have the right to rent in this country

  • How to Rent – The Checklist for Renting in England

  • A Certificate of Deposit Protection

  • Deposit Protection Prescribed Information and Clauses

  • Deposit Protection Scheme Leaflet, explaining how the deposit scheme works

  • Addendum to the AST explaining where the deposit is protected and what it can be used for (can be written into the AST)

  • GDPR Privacy Notice

  • Inventory

  • Information for Tenants

  • Tenant Log for all communications with the tenant(s) including date.

Other Documents

To continue meeting best practice standards, it’s also important to pay attention to the financial, tax and data-related aspects of being a landlord. Here, the PDPLA includes an extra landlord compliance checklist for associated documents.

The things that should feature on your landlord document checklist include:

  • Registering for an HMRC Self Assessment Tax Return (if not already registered)

  • Accounts – record all transactions related to the tenancy and property (including receipts)

  • Completing an HMRC Self Assessment Tax Return each tax year

  • Registering/renewing with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

  • GDPR Data Audit.

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