Preparing the Property

A thorough preparation of the property is essential for a positive tenant experience. This includes:

  • Deep Cleaning: A professional deep clean ensures the property is presented in its best light, leaving a positive first impression on the new tenant.
  • Inspection and Repairs: A detailed inspection should identify necessary repairs or maintenance tasks. This includes checking walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical systems. Address any issues promptly to avoid delays and potential disputes.
  • Appliance and Fixture Functionality: Ensure that all appliances and fixtures, such as ovens, hobs, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, lights, and switches, are in proper working order. Replace or repair any faulty items.
  • Safety Checks: Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they function correctly. Replace batteries if necessary. It is also a good practice to check fire extinguishers and escape routes.

Essential Documentation

Accurate and comprehensive documentation is crucial for a legally compliant and transparent tenancy. Key documents include:

  • Tenancy Agreement: A legally binding contract outlining the terms and conditions of the tenancy, including rent amount, payment schedule, deposit details, and responsibilities of both parties. Ensure the agreement is prepared in accordance with current UK legislation and have both parties sign and date it.
  • Copy for Tenant: Provide the tenant with their own signed copy of the tenancy agreement for their records.
  • Inventory: A detailed inventory documents the property’s condition and its contents at the start of the tenancy. This includes descriptions and photographs of each item, noting any existing damage or wear and tear. Both landlord and tenant should review and sign the inventory, agreeing on its accuracy. This document is a reference point when assessing the property’s condition at the end of the tenancy.

Legal Requirements

Landlords must adhere to specific legal requirements to ensure a compliant and protected tenancy:

Landlord Insurance: Obtain appropriate landlord insurance that covers the property, contents (if applicable), and potential liabilities, such as accidental damage or legal disputes.

Legal Documents: Provide the tenant with the following documents before the tenancy starts:

  • Gas Safety Certificate: A valid Gas Safety Certificate from a Gas Safe registered engineer confirms that all gas appliances and flues have been checked and are safe.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): An EPC rates the property’s energy efficiency and provides recommendations for improvements.
  • How to Rent Guide: This is the government’s official guide outlining the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.

Deposit Protection: Register the tenant’s deposit with a government-approved scheme within 30 days of receiving it. Provide the tenant with the deposit protection certificate and prescribed information, which outlines how the deposit is protected and the process for claiming it at the end of the tenancy.

By fulfilling these legal obligations, landlords can avoid potential fines and ensure both parties’ fair and transparent tenancy.


Utilities and Services

A smooth transition for the tenant also involves the seamless transfer of utilities and services:

  • Meter Readings: When the tenant moves in, take accurate readings for gas, electricity, and water meters. Share these readings with the tenant and the relevant utility providers to ensure the tenant is billed correctly from the start of their tenancy.
  • Utility Account Setup: Provide the tenant with contact information for local utility providers so they can easily set up accounts in their name. Explain transferring or setting up new accounts and any associated fees.
  • Internet and Phone Services: Offer guidance on available internet and phone service providers in the area. Provide contact details and relevant information on setting up these services, such as estimated connection times or special offers.

Keys and Access

Ensuring the tenant has the necessary keys and access information is essential for a smooth move-in:

  • Key Provision: Provide the tenant with a complete set of keys, including those for all external doors, windows, internal locks, the garage, and any communal areas they are entitled to access. It is advisable to provide at least two sets of keys for convenience and in case of loss.
  • Security Systems and Access Codes: Thoroughly explain how to operate security or access codes, such as alarm systems, entry codes, or key fobs. Demonstrate how to arm and disarm the alarm, change access codes, and troubleshoot potential issues.
  • Emergency Contact Information: Provide the tenant with your up-to-date contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, in case they need to reach you in an emergency, such as lockouts, security concerns, or maintenance issues.

By facilitating a smooth and secure access process, landlords can enhance the tenant’s sense of comfort and security in their new home.

Welcome Pack

A well-prepared welcome pack is a thoughtful touch that helps the tenant settle into their new home and provides valuable information.


Helpful Information

Include details on local amenities such as supermarkets, chemists, hospitals, public transport options, and leisure facilities. Provide a schedule of rubbish and recycling collection days and instructions on sorting and storing waste. List emergency contact numbers, including those for emergency and medical services. You may also include details of local tradespeople you prefer to use who can assist with emergency repairs or maintenance.


Appliance and Heating Instructions

Provide clear and concise instructions on operating appliances like the oven, hob, washing machine, dishwasher, and any smart home devices. Include guidance on adjusting the heating system, setting timers, and troubleshooting common issues.


Contact Information

Include your contact details and those of any relevant property management or maintenance companies—state preferred methods of communication and response times for non-urgent matters.


Move-In Day Walkthrough

The move-in day walkthrough is a crucial step to ensure a smooth transition for the tenant:

  • Schedule the Walkthrough: Arrange a mutually convenient time for the walkthrough on the tenant’s move-in date. Allow ample time to inspect the property and address any concerns thoroughly.
  • Inventory Review: Carefully go through the inventory list with the tenant, comparing the documented condition of the property and its contents with the current state. Note any discrepancies or changes, such as pre-existing damage not previously reported. Take photographs as evidence and update the inventory accordingly.
  • Appliance and System Demonstrations: Demonstrate how to operate appliances like the oven, hob, heating system, washing machine, dishwasher, and other relevant devices. Explain how to adjust settings, timers, and safety features. Answer any questions the tenant may have about usage or maintenance.
  • Open Q&A: Encourage the tenant to ask questions about the property, the tenancy agreement, or living in the area. Address their concerns openly and honestly to foster a positive and transparent relationship.



A well-prepared move-in process is the foundation of a successful tenancy. By following this comprehensive checklist, landlords can ensure a seamless transition for their new tenants, minimising the risk of misunderstandings or disputes.

Key takeaways include:

  • Thoroughly preparing the property to create a welcoming and safe environment.
  • Completing and signing all necessary documentation to establish a legally sound tenancy.
  • Fulfilling all legal obligations to protect both landlord and tenant.
  • Assisted the tenant with utility setup and provided essential information.
  • Conducting a move-in day walkthrough to review the property and address any concerns.

Landlords can establish a positive landlord-tenant relationship by approaching the move-in process with careful attention to detail and a commitment to open communication.


Need Some Help?

As professional letting agents, we always want the best for our landlords. It can be very overwhelming for landlords which is why we’re here to help. If you’re looking for a property management company to look after your property, then get in touch with us, we’d be happy to help!