Whether you are working with your lettings agent on a managed or non managed basis, they will ensure you comply with legislation to protect all deposits. Before the tenancy starts, your agent will normally collect the deposit and the first rent payment on your behalf. As soon as this money clears, the signed tenancy agreement has been received from both the landlord and the tenant, occupants then can move in.
When an offer has been accepted by the landlord, the tenant would be expected to pay a holding deposit .This is an expression on the tenant’s behalf of the commitment to renting the property, and the landlord would usually remove the property from the market at this stage
A deposit is usually six weeks’ worth of rent. This deposit is an additional cost to the tenant but will go towards the initial move in funds that are due prior to the start of tenancy.
Once you have taken receipt of the deposit you will need to protect it within government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes) within 30 days. There will be a nominal charge to you which is paid towards the tenancy deposit scheme, and varies in cost depending on scheme. There will be no cost to the tenant for this.
The deposit should be duly returned to the tenant at the end of the tenancy. You will be able to fairly deduct from the deposit any unpaid rent, cost of dilapidations that goes beyond reasonable wear and tear, but this needs to be agreed with the tenant. If there is a dispute, then an independent arbitrator may be require
Moving the new tenants in
The inventory check should be carried put before new tenants move after which they will be handed the keys. A couple will need at least two sets of keys, and students or professionals that are sharing will need a set each. Meter readings should be noted down, and during the inventory check in.
As the landlord, instruction manuals for the various appliances should be made easily available to the tenant, and if there are any appliances that are less intuitive to operate, you may need to demonstrate this to your tenant. Any safety equipment, such as fire blankets, extinguisher s and smoke detectors, should also be pointed out.
A list of contact details for various scenarios should be made available. If a letting agent is taking on full management of the property, they will normally arrange for your tenants move in and may even offer this service for non managed properties at an additional cost. Utility and council tax bills should be transferred into the name of the tenant.
Visiting the tenants a few weeks into their occupancy can ensure they are comfortable and settling in. The visit can also allay any concerns landlords may have when taking on new tenants that they have not met with before. All visits need to be arranged with at least 24 hours notice given to the tenant notice as stipulated in the tenancy agreement. Keep in mind, not to disturb your tenant too often even by appointment.