Season’s greetings folks!
I cannot believe it’s December already (I literally say that every year because it’s my least favourite time of the year). Seriously, what the hell? Seems like only yesterday I was salivating the mouths of the housewives’ and their daughters’ on my street by prancing around in my garden, watering my flower-beds in nothing but a criminal pair of skimpy Speedos; now my garden has withered like a prune, there’s nothing left to water, and I’m being suffocated and restricted by cotton long-Johns.
New tenancies & being compliant
The final quarter of this year has been woefully disorientating and insanely diabolical for landlords; there’s been a barrage of new legislations/regulations rolled out (many of which make me believe someone is having a seriously good wind-up), which mostly left us digging deeper into our pockets and/or doing a bit more leg-work. And for added fun, a couple of nasty incoming tax changes were unveiled too, which were as appetising as someone brushing aside their fringe, only to reveal a cluster of erupting boils. It’s been very yucky, indeed!
All landlords in England will be affected in one way or another, even if only slightly. Needless to say, I’m just talking about the landlords that give a flying shit about conformity. In reality, as with all sole-traders and freelancers in every industry, there’s a gigantic chunk of landlords still reaping the rewards of being rogue- not paying taxes or complying with their legal obligations. Many of which, so utterly uninterested and disengaged from ‘the system’, that they’re probably totally oblivious that a shakedown even occurred.
Ahh, what a life. If I wasn’t such an enormous gaping pussy, I’d probably be on that path like flies on shit. Alas, here I am, deflated, and on my knees following orders like a malnourished barnyard animal. I’m pathetic. I look down and see raisins!
In any case… in light of all the old, new and incoming legislations, regulations, rules and laws (I don’t think there’s any real meaningful difference between the lot, it all boils down to orders for us sheep to obey), it’s getting incredibly easy for prospective, new and even experienced landlords (and dare I say agents) to get lost in uncertainty- specifically about what is required when starting a new tenancy and ensuring all the right boxes are ticked.
Sure, there are skid-marks and dollops of information scattered all over my blog (and the internet), including all the outstanding (and sinfully lousy) contributions from commentators (I genuinely appreciate every single one of them), to help landlords be more aware of their legal obligations. However, piecing it all together can be a tedious task at best, despite my
best efforts of trying to keep everything organised.
I recently acquired new tenants, and it was the first time I had to follow some of the newer legislations/regulations that recently came into play. That’s when I realised I needed a neater process to keep on top of all the mumbo-jumbo bureaucracy, but more importantly, to document proof of actually following the procedures. Soon enough, I quickly threw together a list of “procedures” to follow, and supplementing tenant confirmation forms that confirm the procedures have been complied with.
So, to make this Christmas extra special for everyone, I thought I’d give you ALL want you’ve been pining for this year. Yes, a mouth-watering pack of digital landlord downloadable documents, the very same ones I recently created and used myself (which may or may not be useful or legally accurate).
I’m excited, so I sure as hell know you must be.
Landlord compliance pack for new tenancies
Essentially, I’ve thrown together a bunch of forms, which I believe will help landlords in England be compliant (and safe) when starting new tenancies.
The download pack includes the following…
- 1) Landlord legal obligations Checklist – simple checklist that runs through the legal requirements for landlords in England & Wales, which includes:
- Gas Safety Check
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Landlord Selective License
- Furniture and Furnishings Regulation
- Electrical Safety
- Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations
- Legionnaires disease
- “Right to rent” immigration checks
More information on each can be found on the Landlords Legal Requirements Checklist page.
- 2) EPC confirmation form – confirmation that the tenant has seen a valid Energy Performance Certificate.
I would get this signed before the tenancy agreement is signed (because the EPC should be shown during the viewing)!
- 3) Gas Safety Certificate confirmation form – confirmation that the tenant received a valid Gas Safety Certificate.
The gas safety certificate should be served BEFORE tenants are given keys and occupy the premises in order to comply with the Landlord Deregulation Act 2014
- 4) Prescribed Information confirmation form – confirmation the tenant received the Prescribed Information for the used tenancy deposit scheme. This release form should be completed based on the requirements of the deposit scheme used to protect the deposit.
Each deposit scheme has unique guidelines on what should be served as part of the “Prescribed Information”, which you can find out more about here.
The deposit and P.I must be protected and served with in 30 days.
- 5) Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarm confirmation form – confirmation that Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarms are supplied and in good working order.
The alarms need to be tested on the day the tenancy begins, so I would schedule a test during the tenant’s presence and then get the form signed at the same time!
- 6) “How to rent” guide confirmation form- confirmation that your tenant received the most up to date “how to rent” guide. You can download the latest guide from here.
I would provide the rent guide the day the tenancy begins and get the form signed at the same time!
- 7) Legionella risk assessment logbook– a form which allows you to record the results of a legally obligatory legionella risk assessment. While logging the results isn’t a legal obligation, the risk assessment is, but it’s recommended to record the results.
You can download a confirmation form individually for each area by following the links above, or download an ‘all-in-one’ version below. It’s your call.
What’s with all the confirmation forms?
I know, I know, I’m really cramming them down your gullet like an onslaught of jizz-rockets, aren’t I?
The thing is, a lot of the new legislations/regulations require landlords to hand over documents to tenants. Failing to do so could lead to prosecution and/or impede on our rights to repossess our property efficiently through the Section 21 route. On that basis, it’s more important than ever to not only follow the proper procedures, but also have the means to prove it. God forbid, if we end up in a legal battle and need to provide proof of compliance.
One devastating aspect I’ve learnt about being landlord is how Judges tend to be much more sympathetic towards tenants; they’ll literally pounce on any crack given the chance, no matter how minuscule, and then use it in the tenant’s favour.
That’s a whole lot of signing…
I tried to think of a way where I could just throw everything into one form, which required one date/signature from the tenant. But, because almost every regulation works with different timelines it didn’t seem possible, or at least, my feeble mind couldn’t think of a way to accommodate the information in a simpler way without making the process restricted and unworkable.
Let’s not forget, on top of all of the above, we need to sign the tenancy agreements, inventory forms and Guarantor forms (none of which are legally required but highly recommended). Can anyone say wankers-cramp?
In reality, it won’t actually take long to sign the documents and it’s not like you need to do it every month. Most of it can be done during one sitting over a class of chilled Chardonnay.
Oh… and make sure you sign two copies of each! Yes, more signing. It’s always good practice to have both tenant and landlord have signed copies of all documents.
Use at your own risk!
Guys, you know the drill. I gotta’ cover my little butt!
I’m not a Solicitor or a legal bod. I genuinely don’t know how well these forms would hold up in court, but I believe they’re better than having nothing. Based on the guidance and examples I’ve seen, they should do the trick. But I obviously have to recommend that you seek professional legal advise if you wish to use them! :)
Either way, with or without the forms, this post should at least make life easier for those landlords scrambling around looking for what the hell they need to do in order to comply with the requirements when starting a new tenancy.
So, what do you think? Useful? Pile of junk? Huh? Huh? Huh?
Let me know if you have any suggestions or notice any problems. Also, to put is all in the festive spirit (in case you’re not already), let me know what the shittiest present you have ever received and what you ended up doing with it.
(note: if you’ve already signed up to my mailing list, just enter your name/email address and you’ll automatically get directed to the download page without needing to re-subscribe).
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger; I'm not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information I share is my opinion based on my personal experiences as an active landlord, and should never be contrued as legal or professional advice. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.
Any documents you download from this website are just examples of its kind and should be checked by a professional. I give no warranties or representations concerning the documents, and accept no liability in relation to the use of the documents.