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Good practice

There are some things that you must do by law if you rent out a house or flat. There are also things that you should do because they are good practice and will help you and your tenant.

Before the tenancy starts

If you have a mortgage on the house or flat that you want to rent out, you should get permission from your lender. Tenants are allowed to ask for proof that you have asked for permission and without it, their tenancy may not be valid.

You should make sure that you have adequate buildings and contents insurance and let your insurer know that you will be letting out the property - your insurance may be invalid if you have not told them.

You should provide a written tenancy agreement, although a tenancy will generally still exist even if this is not written down.

You should agree an inventory with the tenant that lists everything that is in the property – here is an inventory form (PDF) that you can use.

You should provide any information that is needed so that your tenant can claim any benefits that they are entitled to, as soon as possible.

During the tenancy

You should carry out visual checks on all electrical installations and appliances at least once a year. Here is a checklist you can use for the annual visual checks (PDF).  This checklist was produced before the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020 came in to force, so you should also be aware of the legal requirements around the inspection and testing of electrical installations by a qualified electrician at least every 5 years.

At the end of the tenancy

You should check through the inventory form (PDF) with the tenant - you should allow for a reasonable level of wear and tear

You should take meter readings on the final day of the tenancy and pass these on to the relevant suppliers (you can also record these on the inventory form).

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Contact details

Housing standards Team
8th Floor,
Margaret McMillan Tower,
Princes Way,

Phone : 01274 434520
Email :