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1. Check that you are in a position to proceed with the tenancy. You should check your mortgage or lease for conditions preventing or restricting your right to effect an assured shorthold tenancy. If your lender requires you to serve additional notices then they should be able to provide you with a copy of something that meets their own requirements. If your title to the property is leasehold, you should give a copy of your lease to the tenant at the time of entering into the assured shorthold tenancy and add the following into the additional terms and conditions on your tenant’s agreement:
“To observe and perform all the terms and conditions contained in any superior lease to which the property is subject. A copy of the superior lease has been provided to the tenant.”

2. Obtain an Energy Performance Certificate for the property which should be given to prospective tenants on viewing.

3. Take up references on tenants and their guarantors if applicable. A full reference check should be available on the internet for about £30.00. Ensure that all tenants are over 18 and that any adult children of the family also sign the tenancy agreement if they are to be full time occupiers of the property.

4. Make sure you have insurance that is appropriate for a tenanted property.

5. Ensure all gas appliances are checked by an appropriately qualified Gas Safe installer and obtain a certificate to pass on to the tenant.

6. Undertake an inventory together with photographic evidence of condition. This should be done in the presence of the tenant.

7. Make appropriate arrangements for the protection of the deposit in one of the three available schemes. Comply with the requirements of the specific scheme and ensure you provide the relevant details to the tenant within 14 days of the deposit being paid to you.

8. Ensure all payments are cleared prior to releasing the keys. Make the appropriate arrangement for future collection of rent and if the tenant is paying weekly you will be required to provide a rent book. The enclosed agreement provides for the rent to be paid by standing order and the guide includes a mandate.

9. Ensure the agreement reflects your requirements and ensure all tenants sign the agreement in the presence of witnesses, unless the tenancy is starting immediately.

10. Make sure that all required paperwork has been handed over to the tenant within the required time limits – such as the deposit scheme details, gas certificate etc.