Considering venturing into a Buy-to-Let property investment or transforming existing properties in your portfolio into private lets? While this strategy holds promising investment potential, navigating the landlord role demands careful preparation to fulfil all of your legal obligations.

To help you, we’ve crafted a comprehensive checklist to ensure you’re equipped with the necessary documentation, certifications, and more to embark on this new journey confidently.

Find out if you require a housing licence

First on your landlord compliance checklist is to check whether you will need to obtain permission to privately let your property. This depends on your local council and national government licensing schemes. Landlords of large Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), defined as residential properties with shared communal spaces, occupied by at least 5 tenants forming more than one household, must obtain a licence to rent. Local authorities can also implement additional HMO licensing, as well as selective licensing schemes, which apply to all private rented properties within a defined area. To find out if your property requires housing licensing, beyond the national requirement for large HMOs, it is important to check with your local council.

Property preparation and certifications

As a landlord, and as a top priority on your landlord compliance checklist, you must prepare your property to ensure it is safe and hazard-free by obtaining the below certifications. This includes:

Energy Performance Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a report detailing the energy efficiency of your property, graded on a descending scale from A to G. As the landlord, it’s your responsibility to arrange for an EPC before advertising your property for rent. This assessment must be conducted by a certified energy assessor and, upon completion, the EPC should be featured in all promotional materials aimed at attracting potential tenants. Your EPC is valid for 10 years and must be provided to your tenant before they move in.

Gas safety

As part of your landlord responsibilities checklist regarding gas safety, you must:

The engineer will confirm the property’s compliance with gas safety standards by issuing you with a CP12 certificate, which serves as your official gas safety certification. You will also receive a new deadline for the next inspection, scheduled to take place 12 months later. Landlords must provide a copy of the gas safety certification to prospective tenants before the tenancy begins.

Find out more about our Gas Safety annual inspection service here

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

An essential task on your landlord compliance checklist is to comply with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2022. According to these regulations, all landlords must:

  • install at least one smoke alarm on each storey of their property where there is a room used as living accommodation
  • install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers)
  • ensure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are replaced or repaired once they have been found to be defective. Local authorities can fine landlords up to £5,000 if they do not follow up with corrective action.

Electrical Installation Condition Report

Every five years, landlords are required to acquire an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This report thoroughly inspects and tests all electrical installations within their property. It is conducted by a member of a competent person scheme, which serves as a means for tradespeople to demonstrate their proficiency in performing specific tasks to the necessary standards.

The final report explains any investigative or remedial work required. A copy of this report must be shared with the tenant within 28 days of the inspection and to a new tenant before the occupancy begins.

As the landlord, you are responsible for carrying out any remedial work or further investigation within 28 days of having received the report. A copy of the report must be given to the inspector, who will undertake the next inspection of electrical installations.

Find out more about our plumber and electrician services for Landlords here

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is a safety evaluation of electrical appliances in your property consisting of a series of visual inspections and electronic tests to ensure their continued safe usage. The competent person will carry out a visual examination of the appliance, the plug and lead. For Class 1 equipment, appliances with basic insulation and grounding connection for user safety, the inspector will insert test signals into the cable and appliance to ensure their safety.

While PAT isn’t legally mandated, it serves as a prudent method for landlords to  prioritise electrical safety for their tenants,

Meeting the Housing Health and Safety Rating System

Introduced under the Housing Act of 2004, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is an evaluation of the potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any issues detected in residential properties. Landlords can utilise the HHSRS as a guide to pinpoint necessary maintenance or improvements on their properties for compliance. This may involve addressing structural faults, ensuring functionality of drains and sanitary fixtures and examining ventilation, chimneys, heating and hot water systems.

Tenant screening

Tenant references

Securing tenant references before finalising a tenancy agreement is a prudent step to safeguard your property investment. By gathering comprehensive tenant references, you can mitigate the risk of late payments and ensure that your tenants responsibly maintain your property. These references encompass various checks, ranging from basic credit assessments to thorough background investigations on the prospective tenant. You can engage letting agents or referencing services to perform these checks on your behalf.

Right to rent check

One key box to check off on your landlord compliance checklist is to verify whether your prospective tenant possesses the legal right to rent your private residential property before the tenancy commences. This process applies to all individuals aged 18 and above, regardless of their perceived nationality, to uphold anti-discrimination laws. To conduct this verification, you must inspect original documents provided by the tenant, demonstrating their eligibility to reside in the UK. It’s essential to retain copies of these documents for your records.

Tenant documentation

Your landlord compliance checklist also includes specific documentation required to fulfil your obligations as a landlord to your prospective tenants, including:

  • Drawing up a tenancy agreement/contract to outline the terms, tenancy duration, and rental price.
  • Serve the How to Rent Guide to your tenants to help them understand their rights and responsibilities.
  • Place your tenant’s deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDPS) within 30 days of having received it, and inform your tenants about how you have secured it.
  • Provide a detailed inventory of the condition and contents of your property.
Ready to start preparing your property to be let? Contact our qualified team of heating, plumbing and electrical engineers today to find out how we can assist you. 

This landlord compliance checklist has been created by Paine Manwaring to support landlords in preparing their properties for let. While every effort has been made to make it as comprehensive as possible and in line with government requirements and best practice, responsibility for the thoroughness of the checklist remains the responsibility of the Landlord themselves. Further detailed information can be found at ​​

Paine Manwaring is an established, professional and highly experienced supplier of plumbing, heating and electrical services to domestic and commercial customers throughout Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire.

For more information about the heating, plumbing and electrical services which we provide for both homes and businesses get in touch with a member of our expert and friendly team today on 01903 237522 or (Worthing) or 01243 784711 or (Chichester).