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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Tenancy paperwork

Any deposits taken on or after 1 April 2013 must be registered with an authorised Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme administrator. Deposits taken before that date don't need to be registered with one of these schemes.

Any deposits taken on or after 1 April 2013 must be registered with an authorised Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme administrator. Deposits taken before that date don't need to be registered with one of these schemes.

Legally, your landlord or the agent must give you a rent book. There is certain information which must be contained in this document, including your basic rights and obligations. If you don't get a rent book, you can complain to your local council.

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract, just like a contract for a mobile phone or broadband service. Once you sign or commit to a tenancy you are obliged to continue paying rent until either the landlord agrees to end the contract, the contract comes to a natural end and you have indicated that you do not wish it to continue, or the property is no longer available for you because someone else has moved in. 

There are a number of things you must consider before deciding to become a landlord. There can be a lot of initial expenditure and you will need to be able to dedicate a certain amount of time to your new business.

As the property owner, you should make sure that you keep accurate records for all your rented properties. This should include information on your property's amenities as well as any safety certificates associated with the property. As a landlord, you are running a business and should give the same level of importance to record keeping as you would in any other business venture. You must also comply with the Data Protection Act and may have to notify the Information Commissioner's Office of your business.

You may be legally obliged to obtain a fitness certificate for your property before putting it on the rental market. Certain buildings will not require a fitness certificate.

There are some essential documents that you must legally have in order to rent out a property. These include a Fitness Certificate (in some cases), Energy Performance Certificate and a Gas Safety Certificate if there is gas heating or there are any gas appliances in the property.

Efficient record keeping and filing systems can really help you manage your properties and tenancies effectively. There are certain pieces of paperwork which you should provide to your tenants but you should also ensure that you have kept copies of all of these for yourself.

There are some legal documents which you must provide to your tenants. Failure to provide certain documents to your tenants can result in prosecution and a hefty fine.

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