When purchasing an investment property that is let to tenants, there is a whole host of additional information that you should have sight of in addition to what you would normally expect to see when buying your own home.
The additional information is a requirement of letting your property in order to ensure that the property is a safe environment to live in, and to ensure that the tenancy agreement(s) are in full force and effect.
You would expect the following documents to be provided as part of the sales process:
- Gas Safety Certificate – this certificate is issued by the gas engineer to confirm that the gas appliances are in satisfactory working order.
- Electrical Inspection Report – this report will be issued by the electrical engineer to confirm whether the electric systems and appliances are in good working order.
- Energy Performance Certificate – as of April 2018 it is a legal requirement that a property has a minimum energy rating of ‘E’ in order to be let.
- Evidence that the tenant’s deposit(s) have been placed in a tenancy deposit scheme. If the deposit is not protected by a tenancy deposit scheme the court can order you to repay the tenants or pay it into a custodial tenancy deposit scheme. A court may also decide that the tenants do not have to leave the property when the tenancy ends if you did not use a tenancy deposit scheme when you should have.
- Copies of the tenancy agreements, to include any memorandums and/or addendums.
- Confirmation that the prescribed information has been provided to the tenants at the outset of their tenancies. If the prescribed information is not provided, it can jeopardise the validity of the tenancy agreement and your ability to bring it to an end.
The contract for sale should also include provision for:
- The transfer of the tenant’s deposit(s) upon completion. It is likely that you will need to register with a tenancy deposit scheme (if you have not already) to enable the deposits to be transferred to your name.
- Rent authority letters. These letters will be addressed to the tenants from the seller, directing them to pay all future rent to you. Without these letters, the tenants may continue to pay their rent to the seller.
- An apportionment of rent paid or owed. It is unlikely you will complete your acquisition on the rent payment date, so it is important to ensure that the rent is apportioned on a daily rate so that you take the benefit or rent payments from the day of completion.