When taking over the management of rented residential property, it is useful to run through a checklist to make sure everything is in order. Here are 10 tips to assist with the management of Assured Shorthold Tenancies:
1. Make sure you check the type of tenancy the property is let under. Whilst it is usually an Assured Shorthold Tenancy these days, Assured Tenancies and Rent Act Tenancies are still around. Check that you hold a signed and dated version.
2. If an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, is the tenancy still within the fixed term?
3. Are the tenants named on the tenancy agreement the actual occupants?
4. Has a deposit been taken in accordance with the tenancy terms and is it registered? Don’t forget the statutory obligations with regard to prescribed information that must be communicated to the tenants.
5. Make sure that the right to rent rules have been complied with. In addition, ensure the tenant is provided with the energy performance and gas safety certificates, and compliance with the electrical safety standards regulations.
6. Consider the Licensing position of the property – is the property one that triggers the mandatory or selective licensing?
7. Are there any arrears of rent? If there are, act quickly to chase and take enforcement action, subject to any Covid restrictions which may be in place. Do make sure you check that rent is demanded on the correct day in accordance with the tenancy agreement. The first payment of rent may be on a different day to the payment of rent for the remainder of the term.
8. If there are breaches of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy during the term, consideration will need to be given as to whether there are grounds to terminate the tenancy early, subject to any Covid restrictions.
9. Take instructions in good time on what is to happen to the property at the end of the fixed term. Do notices need to be served and if so, ensure that the correct procedure is followed.
10. If an inventory was taken at the commencement of the tenancy, remember to follow up on this at the end of the term.