Make sure that you check potential tenants by obtaining a credit report, a copy of their passport and references from their employer and bank. You need to be satisfied that they will look after the property and be able to pay the rent. Remember it is illegal to discriminate against potential tenants on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, race, disability or religion. Landlords in England must also make sure that any tenants have the legal right to rent and must ensure any immigration checks are done. For more information, read Picking a tenant and Picking a tenant in Scotland.
Landlords are also obligated to provide more information and documents to tenants, such as gas safety certificates and energy performance certificates. For more information, read Legal obligations of a landlord and Legal obligations of a landlord in Scotland.
Prepare an Inventory of the items that are at the property including their state and condition. Having a written record makes it easier at the end of the tenancy to show what needs to be replaced and/or repaired. It also will resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy about the condition of any items and whether money needs to be deducted from the tenant's deposit in order to repair or replace the item. In Wales, an inventory must be provided within 14 days of the contract holder of them moving in.
Consider if you want to ask the tenant to pay a rent deposit at the start of the tenancy to cover cleaning, breakage and damage that may occur during the tenancy. Any deposit will need to be protected under a Government-approved tenancy deposit scheme. For more information, read Rent, deposits and utilities.