Landlords ought to try and discover a totally free instance of an inventory on the Internet and compile a detailed 'Inventory, Schedule of Condition and Security Check List'. It is worth landlords spending time on compiling an inventory that records each detail of a rental property, its contents, decoration and situation so that any damage or loss occurred during a tenancy can be claimed back.
The security section ought to consist of: number of smoke/heat alarms, carbon monoxide alarm, make a note 'all tested and in working order' Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate, PAT (Portable Appliance Test certificate of the Landlord's electrical goods) and the 5 year, electrical certificates all supplied burglar alarm, consist of note 'demonstrated and in operating order' and fire security gear has been checked.
Landlords should attach pictures, dated and signed by both tenant and landlord on the reverse. They should include photos of all rooms, displaying positions of furniture plus important potential problem areas such as inside the cooker, behind kitchen appliances, cleanliness of lounge carpet and the condition of the garden and lawn, if they are maintaining this area.
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Landlords should create 'cleaned to a good standard' against rooms in the inventory and provide a definition, so there can be small doubt as to what this indicates, such as: ''No dust or debris behind, underneath and on top of furnishings, fixtures and appliances cookers are clean and practically free from burnt on grease, especially on oven racks and trays fridges, freezers and microwaves are clean and empty Venetian blind slats, curtains and covers are clean hard floors are mopped and any mirrors are clean bins are washed walls are totally free from washable marks and blu-tak kind stains.' and so on. A detailed inventory will support claims for damage and cleaning at the end of the tenancy.
Landlords should devise a simple checkout leaflet, outlining the procedures and expectations at the end of the tenancy. Give it to the students at the begin of the tenancy. When issuing a Section 21 notice, probably towards the finish of the tenancy, remind them about the checkout leaflet.
Duty of care
A landlord's 'duty of care' ought to consist of a thorough security check of their buy-to-let home. A landlord ought to also offer a 'Household Folder', packed with helpful information. Contents could consist of: Moving and Living in the Premises, Student and Landlord Responsibilities, Common Health and Security, Location of Solutions in the Home and Electrical Safety, Disposal of Refuse, Condensation, Pest Control, Use of Candles, Noise, Nuisance and Neighbour Disputes, Who is Responsible for what Repairs, Cleaning, Visits by the Landlord, Crime Prevention, Fire Safety, Initial Aid and Useful/Emergency Telephone Numbers. The landlord's 'Household Folder' could also include the legal certificates, instructions on the use of appliances and the buy-to-let investment's property's checkout leaflet.
Avoid the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
Landlords should quit taking a security deposit and steer clear of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme altogether. Instead when the contract is signed, landlords ought to charge every student tenant a perfectly legal, £50 non-returnable administration fee. Landlords shouldn't bother paying for a credit reference verify. Students usually have very small credit history.