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Being a landlord can feel overwhelming at times. With various legislation and procedures to follow to the letter, many wish they had a bit of a helping hand, a document to guide them such as a landlord checklist. Thankfully, there is help available to keep you on the right side of legislation, whilst at the same time helping you build lasting, successful relationships with your tenants.

The Portsmouth & District Private Landlord’s Association (PDPLA), established in 1985, has created a free landlord checklist for renting a property in the UK, which we’ve summarised in this helpful guide for landlords. The landlord checklist details the documents you’ll need to provide, along with pre-tenancy, new tenancy, during the tenancy and end-of-tenancy tasks, as well as helpful websites for landlords.

As an association formed to represent landlords, they understand the concerns and needs of PRS landlords. However, it should be noted that this list is not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice.

Landlord Checklist

Having the right documents as a landlord is important to protect not only your tenants but yourself and your business. Crucial for ensuring everyone’s safety and compliance with the law, knowing what needs to be in place (ahead of time) is key. This can avoid fines or legal action further down the line, providing welcomed peace of mind.

However, the UK estate agent Chancellors suggests you should first confirm whether you’re allowed (by law) to rent your property. Typical mortgages allow lending for the occupation by the named persons only, and buy-to-let properties could still have certain restrictive terms regarding the tenants or tenancy you want to advertise.

Once this research has been undertaken, it’s time to follow the PDPLA’s landlord checklist for renting a house or apartment.

Property Documents

Every tenant has the right to live somewhere clean, safe and fit for habitation. As a responsible landlord, you’ll naturally take pride in meeting these needs by having the correct paperwork in place.

Therefore, having the following certificates on the PDPLA’s landlord checklist is non-negotiable:

  • Buildings Insurance
  • Landlord Insurance
  • Gas Safety Certificate
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). A minimum of an ‘E’ Rating
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). An Electrical Safety Certificate
  • Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC). For any new installation or modification of electrics
  • Minor Electrical Installation Work Certificate (MEIWC). For any installation or modification of electrics that doesn’t include a new electrical circuit.

Tenant Documents

This group of documents is helpful to both landlords and their tenants. It includes fundamental arrangements covering the terms of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, GDPR Privacy Notice and the tenant’s deposit (if applicable).

You should have these documents to hand, so everyone is clear on the nature of the tenancy:

  • Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST)
  • Guarantors Agreement where required
  • Confirmation (in writing) from the tenant that they’re happy to receive letting documents by email
  • Copied evidence (e.g. passport) to prove all tenants have the right to rent in this country
  • How to Rent – The Checklist for Renting in England
  • A Certificate of Deposit Protection
  • Deposit Protection Prescribed Information and Clauses
  • Deposit Protection Scheme Leaflet, explaining how the deposit scheme works
  • Addendum to the AST explaining where the deposit is protected and what it can be used for (can be written into the AST)
  • GDPR Privacy Notice
  • Inventory
  • Information for Tenants
  • Tenant Log for all communications with the tenant(s) including date.

Other Documents

To continue meeting best practice standards, it’s also important to pay attention to the financial, tax and data-related aspects of being a landlord. Here, the PDPLA includes an extra landlord compliance checklist for associated documents.

The things that should feature on your landlord document checklist include:

  • Registering for an HMRC Self Assessment Tax Return (if not already registered)
  • Accounts – record all transactions related to the tenancy and property (including receipts)
  • Completing an HMRC Self Assessment Tax Return each tax year
  • Registering/renewing with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • GDPR Data Audit.

What to do before, during and after a tenancy

Moving is recognised as one of the most stressful life events. At Inventory Base, we believe that this extends not just to tenants but also landlords. Discover your requirements (and practical tips) in the following four landlord responsibilities checklists (compiled by the PDPLA) that cover the entire rental cycle.

Pre-tenancy landlord checklist

Getting started on the right footing can make for a smooth tenancy. That’s why it’s important to give your property the very best chance of attracting good tenants. This pre-tenancy landlord checklist for new tenants includes setting the right first impression and finding a cost-effective letting agent.

Here’s what the PDPLA suggests for the first phase of renting out a property:

  • Clean property
  • Decorate property (if needed)
  • Check EPC is in date – get a new one done if not in date or below an ‘E’ Rating
  • Check ‘Landlord Gas Safety Certificate’ in date – get a new one done if not in date
  • Check electrics – if unsure, get an ‘Electric Installation Condition Report’ [EICR] done
  • Check/install smoke detectors on each floor
  • Check/install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room which contains a fixed combustion appliance, e.g. gas boiler, gas fire, solid fuel fire/burner (excluding gas cookers)
  • Risk assessments – fire, Legionella and asbestos
  • Check buildings/landlord insurance is in date – get new insurance if not
  • Compile an inventory
  • Take photographs to help advertise the property
  • Find tenant(s): via a letting agent, newspaper advert or online ‘virtual’ agents
  • Check letting agent fees (it pays to shop around!)
  • Check the letting agent you use has ‘Client Money Protection’
  • Consider whether you want to allow smoking and pets
  • Prepare AST, addendums and other documents you wish the tenant to sign.

New tenancy landlord checklist

Making the beginning of a tenancy go smoothly sets the tone for your long-term agreement. However, when choosing a tenant, there are several things to confirm, sign and set up.

These important steps include:

  • Referencing the tenant (your agent may do this)
  • Creating and jointly signing the AST
  • Jointly signing the guarantor’s form with the guarantor if needed (if possibility tenant may not meet rent), (AST has to be read by the guarantor and the guarantor’s form signed before AST is signed)
  • Carrying out necessary checks and getting copied evidence (e.g. passport) to prove the tenant has a right to rent in this country
  • Get written confirmation from the tenant they’re happy to receive letting documents by email (this can be written into the AST)
  • Prepare a GDPR Privacy Notice for tenancy
  • Jointly rewove, comment on and then sign inventory
  • Getting the tenants’ contact details (phone, email)
  • Taking a deposit from the tenant
  • Taking the first month’s rent from the tenant
  • Tenant to set up standing order with you for rent
  • Taking meter readings
  • Notify local council’s ‘council tax department’ of new tenants
  • Notify utility companies (the tenant has the right to choose their utilities companies)
  • Protect the deposit within 30 days of receiving it (the agent will do this or set up an account with a deposit protection company).

During a tenancy

Now that a tenant is in place, the priority is to maintain the rental property and communicate clearly in terms of arranging inspections as well as gas and electrical safety checks. In turn, the tenant needs to acknowledge they’ve received any documents.

The PDPLA issues the following advice regarding what to arrange, including three key questions for a landlord inspection checklist:

  • The most up-to-date copy of ‘How to Rent – The Checklist for Renting in England’ to be served between replacement tenancies including between fixed term and statutory periodic tenancies
  • Re-protect the deposit if you create a new tenancy agreement (the deposit does not need re-protecting if the tenancy moves from a fixed term to a periodic)
  • Give tenants the ‘pink’ copy of a new Landlord Gas Safety Certificate
  • Give tenants a copy of any new Electrical Safety Certificate
  • Log all communications with tenants and keep a letter/email trail
  • Respond to written complaints in writing within 14 days
  • Maintain the property and address any responsibilities of a landlord
  • Periodic property inspections: Inform tenants first, note the condition of the property, jobs needed doing and any tenant concerns, and feedback your property inspection findings to the tenant.

Your landlord inspection checklist needs to consider:

  • Are tenants paying their rent on time?
  • Are tenants keeping property together, tidy, not damaged, and per AST?
  • Are tenants (including animals) causing disturbance to neighbours?

You’ll need to give them at least 24 hours’ notice before the inspection can be undertaken.

End of tenancy

When a tenant gives notice that they’ll be leaving the property, it’s important to continue exercising best practice. Here’s a practical landlord checklist when a tenant moves out:

  • Serve the correct form of notice and follow the correct notice procedure
  • Find new tenant – current tenants must give accompanied access to prospective tenants
  • Check property and give tenants tasks they have to do before the deposit is released
  • On moving out, collect keys and any other items given to the tenant
  • Take meter readings
  • Check inventory and list deductions
  • Tenant to sign list of deductions from deposits and amounts
  • Return the whole/part of the deposit (not in cash without a receipt from the tenant).


What do I need to give tenants when they move in?

  • Hard signed copy of the AST
  • Hard signed copy of the Guarantors Agreement (if needed)
  • Signed copy of the Inventory
  • Your contact details
  • Your bank details for standing order
  • Copy of current Energy Performance Certificate [EPC]
  • Hard ‘pink’ copy (photocopy if no ‘pink’ copy) of current Landlord Gas Safety Certificate
  • Copies of current Electrical Safety Certificates if carried out
  • Copy of ‘How to Rent – The Checklist for Renting in England’
  • Copy of instructions for electrical / gas appliances – keep originals as backups
  • Useful information
  • Certificate of Deposit Protection
  • Hard signed copy of Deposit Protection Prescribed Information and Clauses
  • Deposit Protection Scheme Leaflet
  • Addendum to the AST explaining where the deposit is protected and what it can be used for (can be written into the AST)
  • GDPR Privacy Notice
  • Door, window and outside keys (including gates, shed, cupboard, garage)
  • Meter box key.

What other information is useful for my tenants?

Help your tenants settle in by providing the following details:

  • Location of gas, electric, and water meters
  • Location of gas and water valves
  • Bin days
  • Tell them they must not do any alterations or decorating without asking you
  • Tell them any issues and maintenance needs should be communicated to you
  • Show them the smoke detectors (and Carbon Monoxide detectors if needed) work
  • Tell them that indiscriminate disposal of domestic household waste through the toilet and drain could result in them being charged repair costs by the water authority.


With plenty of handy tips, the PDPLA checklist is worth exploring by landlords with any level of experience. For help managing and organising the hundreds of forms and checklists, Inventory Base’s features, dashboards and document storage are a game changer.

Book your demo with one of our team members today.