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Moving the tenants in


Prior to the tenants taking occupancy it’s a good idea to give them a copy of the tenancy agreement for them to read through. This avoids any claims that the landlord has included something they weren’t prepared for or hadn’t agreed to.
  • Obviously, the property should be presented at its best. If a refurbishment has just been completed, then all jobs should have been finished and no debris should be lying around. If tenants have just moved out then it all their property should have been removed, any defects that had been left behind are sorted out and that everything that should be working is working such as electrical appliances, taps, toilets, and heating systems. If the new tenant finds any of these not working after moving in, then the landlord will have to get them fixed at a less convenient time.
  • It’s also worth getting the property professionally cleaned as the tenancy agreement will say that the property should be given back in the condition it was when the tenants moved in, so if it is “perfect” on moving in day then there is less leeway for disputes over the condition when the tenants leave.

    • Drawing up an inventory

    • The most important reason for having an accurate inventory is to avoid disputes over any deductions made from the tenant’s deposit at the end of the tenancy. If there is no accurate inventory, then it makes it difficult to prove what state the property and its contents were in at the start of the tenancy.
    • A good inventory will specify in detail what each item is in a property and what condition it’s in. The inventory should also include photographs detailing any damage. A video could also be included.
    • It’s probably best if a professional construct an inventory as they can be considered impartial in the event of any dispute and are aware of the unique descriptive language that can be used. The inventory should be undertaken prior to any tenant moving their possessions into the property and a copy given to them on occupancy with the tenant signing a copy to say he/she agrees with the contents.

      Checking the tenants in

    • The check-in should be undertaken at the property and in person. All documentation should be correct and handed over as appropriate. The landlord needs to have received the first month’s rent prior to the handover as well as the deposit which should have cleared into the landlord’s bank account before any handover takes place.


      The following documentation should be presented to the tenant at check-in:
    • The tenancy agreement (which must be signed by all tenants and guarantors before the keys are handed over)
    • A copy of the EPC
    • A copy of the gas safety certificate
    • A copy of the inventory for them to sign and return
    • A copy of the prescribed information and terms and conditions of the scheme used to protect the tenant’s deposit.
    • If the rent is to be paid direct to the landlord’s bank, then a standing order form should be provided.
    • A copy of the governments “How to rent” leaflet.
    • Photograph of all keys that are handed over as proof that they have been provided.
    • All of these documents must be signed for as proof of receipt should there be any dispute in the future.

      Meter readings

      The landlord should also take all utility supplier meter readings to inform the suppliers about the change of occupancy. The serial numbers of the actual meters should also be taken.

      House manual

      It is a good idea to provide an information pack regarding the property itself. This may save the tenant phoning to ask questions about the property. The following items can be included in an information pack:
    • The landlords contact number (plus times willing to be contacted) and any emergency number to call outside these hours.
    • Instructions for using the boiler and central heating
    • A reminder of the requirement to regularly test the smoke alarms
    • How to set and disarm any alarms for the property
    • The National Gas Emergency Service number (0800 111 999)
    • The number to call in the event of a power cut (105)
    • The location of the stopcock
    • Instructions on how to use features of the property that may not be clear
    • Any simple maintenance tasks that are recommended to be carried out by the tenant
    • Information and points of contact for local council services
    • Information regarding local services such as restaurants, shopping and other local amenities

      Appliance manuals

    • Appliance manuals should be provided for any electrical item in the property. This saves any dispute if anything is damaged by the tenant. If the manuals are provided, then the tenant cannot argue that he/she didn’t know how as appliance worked if there was a fire for example.