So you’ve taken the plunge and decided to become a buy to let landlord.

For the first timer it can be a little bit daunting with so many things to arrange and keep track of.

Our handy checklist has been designed to take some of the worry away. So in the flurry of activity that goes along with getting a new tenant keep an eye out

You will be needing insurance then...

1.    References. Getting the details of your new tenant’s previous landlord is the best place to start. This is where you’ll probably get the most honest and relevant information. If this isn’t available, perhaps it’s their first home, then make sure you get employment details.  Follow up the references, if you don’t it’s a waste of time.
2.    Deposit. If all the documentation, references etc looks ok, it’s time to take the deposit. Usually this is a month’s rent but there’s nothing to prevent you asking for more or less. Nowadays you are legally obliged to protect the deposit in a government approved scheme. Make sure to do this promptly and notify the tenant within two weeks.
3.    Tenancy Agreement. Make sure it’s properly drafted, that it names each tenant, that it’s signed and dated by all parties. This is where you get to include any clauses, terms or restrictions, so if you don’t want pets and smokers this is where you need to make that clear.
4.    Inventory. This needs to be done at check-in and check-out and there are a number of independent clerks who will do this for you. Make a list of all the items in the property, detailing existing damage then get the documents signed by all parties. Photos of major items may help avoid problems when it comes to checking out.
5.    Meter readings and mail. Make sure you get the reading as close as you can to the day your tenant moves in then let the utilities know that the occupant has changed. Set up a mail re-direct too, you probably can’t rely on your tenants to forward your post to you.
6.    Major items. So here you should make sure your tenants knows where to find the important things, burglar alarm codes, stopcocks, meters, boiler and heating controls. It might be worth preparing and leaving behind a guide.
7.    Contact details. Make sure your new tenants have your contact details in case of an emergency. Should the worst happen and they need to contact you, it makes sense to leave these details behind.
8.    Insurance. Finally, make sure you have the right sort of buy to let property insurance to protect you against the additional risks that come with being a landlord. A good buy to let insurance policy will cover loss of rent and alternative accommodation and you may find that standard home insurance will not be valid once you move out.
So, once you have covered all these 8 points should be on your way to a successful first tenancy.