The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Checklist

Why do I need a checklist for starting a tenancy?

For new assured shorthold tenancies that start on or after 1 October 2015, landlords are required to provide a number of additional documents or they will lose their rights to serve Section 21s.

In addition to this, they face fines of up to £5000 if they do not check that the required smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working at the start of the tenancy.

To ensure landlords can prove they have met their legal obligations, the NRLA has provided a checklist that you and your tenant should sign on the day the tenancy starts. This can then be used as evidence that you are a responsible landlord should the need arise.

What am I legally obliged to provide at the outset of a tenancy?

Landlords now need to provide the following at the outset of an assured shorthold tenancy:

  • A valid Gas Safety Certificate
  • The current Energy Performance Certificate
  • A current Electrical Installation Condition Report for the property
  • The latest version of How to rent: The checklist for renting in England
  • A smoke alarm fitted on every floor used as living space. These alarms must have been checked to show they are in working order at the outset of the tenancy.
  • Confirmation that carbon monoxide alarms are fitted in every room with a solid fuel burning source. They must also be checked to show they are in working order at the outset of the tenancy
  • Confirmation that the deposit has been protected if already paid
  • Confirmation that the prescribed information for the deposit scheme has been provided to the tenant and anyone who has paid towards the deposit
  • A privacy notice outlining how the tenant's data will be used

In addition, landlords need to check the right to rent status of any occupiers moving into a property from February 1st 2016. This must be done before the tenancy agreement is signed and records should be kept for all the documents checked. For further details, please see our right to rent guidance.


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