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Manage rented property

Make the right documents to deal with property management issues


Manage rented property FAQs

  • How to manage rented property

    Make sure you manage your property and tenants effectively by using the correct documents. Check your tenants' background and obtain references whenever possible, consider requesting a deposit and prepare all relevant documents to ensure that you rent your property to a reliable tenant and protect your investment. In Wales, ‘tenants’ are known as ‘contract holders’. For the avoidance of doubt, references to ‘tenants’ also apply to ‘contract holders’ unless otherwise specified.

  • Protect yourself from the beginning

    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.

  • Lodger and landlord obligations

    Avoid conflicts by preparing a set of House rules for lodgers setting out what is and isn't permitted so that it's clear what you expect from them. Use the House rules for lodgers in addition to a Lodger agreement so that the lodger has an accessible list of rules.

  • Tenant and landlord obligations

    Make sure you provide a written Tenancy agreement when you rent out your property to potential tenants. This will ensure that both parties know the terms of the tenancy, how much rent is payable, who's responsible for repairing items within the property and what happens if any of the terms of the agreement are breached. For further information, read Tenants' and owners' obligations.

  • Breach of obligations and unpaid rent

    You may be able to terminate the tenancy if the tenant has breached an obligation under their contract. To do this, you will need to issue the correct Eviction notice. For more information, read Tenant eviction.

    Unpaid rent should be chased immediately. Generally, if the rent is several days late, action should be taken by sending a Rent demand letter. If the rent continues to remain unpaid, a Final rent demand letter should be sent 14 days later. These are the first steps to taking back the property before starting eviction proceedings.

  • Difficult tenants

    Not all tenants will comply with their tenancy agreement or obligations, like paying rent or repairing items. There are procedural steps to take in order to resolve these issues and possibly evict the tenant in the event that they are no longer cooperating. However, you should never forcibly evict tenants or harass them into leaving as the correct procedure should always be followed. For further information, read Difficult tenants.

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