Remembering the Paperwork: What NOT to forget as a landlord

It’s a profession riddled with myths and misconceptions, but particularly nowadays, one issue that all landlords have to deal with is a mountain of paperwork.

The requirements have gotten bigger than ever before, and today, we’ll look at some of the lesser-known areas you must keep on top of to ensure your business ticks over successfully and legally.

Do you need to be licensed?

This is a particularly new requirement and, for now at least, only applies to some areas of the UK. Put simply, some local authorities insist that landlords are ‘licensed’ to let out their properties.

Such a license arrives with a cost and, usually, a checklist of requirements.

For years, landlords around the country have had to do similar chores about HMOs, but now, it appears this paperwork is heading to more traditional property lets.

The ever-changing tax requirements

This is something that all businesses must keep on top of, but it’s arguably more important than ever for landlords.

The tax rules surrounding rental properties are constantly in flux, and what you could claim for last year might not be possible this year. You must keep up to date with the latest changes and ensure that your tax affairs are always in order.

The classic example is mortgage relief, which has recently turned on its head. It’s changes like this which can wreak havoc with your profit margins, and as such, you must stay on top of things.

The Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes

This is one that often gets forgotten about but is vital nonetheless.

In short, if you’re taking a deposit from a tenant, you must put it into a government-recognised deposit protection scheme.

This ensures that the tenant gets their money back at the end of the tenancy, providing they have abided by the terms of their contract.

If you don’t comply with the scheme, you could find yourself in hot water and even result in you returning rent to tenants, so it is vital that you do everything by the book.

Your insurance obligations

Another area that is often forgotten about is landlord insurance. This is a specialist form of insurance designed to protect you if something goes wrong.

For example, if your property is damaged by fire or, in some cases, if a tenant fails to pay their rent, your landlord insurance will kick in and help to cover the cost.

Gas Safety Certificates

This is one that most landlords are aware of, but it’s always worth mentioning. In short, if you’re letting out a property with gas appliances, you must have a valid Gas Safety Certificate.

This certificate must be renewed on an annual basis and must be carried out by a qualified gas engineer.