buy to let mortgages

Buy to let Tenancies

Information on this page is for information purposes only. It is not intended as investment advice

Buy to let Tenancies

One of the principal concerns for the new landlord is what will happen if there are problems with the tenant.

Try to avoid problems by taking precautions:

  • Draw up a tenancy agreement for each new letting
  • Take up references for each tenant
  • Consider employing a letting agent
  • Take a deposit at the start of each tenancy
  • Issue an inventory to the tenant containing a list of property contents and their condition

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)

Having a written agreement that has been signed by the landlord and tenant will go some way to protecting the rights of both landlord and tenant in the event of a disagreement

Your buy to let lender will require that you put in place a suitable AST between you and the Tenant. The length of the agreement is normally 6 or 12 months


Mortgage lenders will require that the AST is signed by the Landlord and Tenant. If you intend to let to a local authority or a housing association or some other Intermediary then you should bring this to the attention of your Mortgage Broker as most lenders will not be happy with this arrangement

Using a Letting Agent

We recommend you employ a Letting Agent.

You could employ a letting agent either as a tenant finder or on the basis that they will find tenants and manage the property. The letting agent should have experience of the selection and vetting of tenants. 

Before you appoint a particular letting agent, check that they are a member of a professional body that requires certain standards of their members (for example Association of Residential Letting Agents)

If you opt for the full property management option, ask the Letting Agent what will be their procedure in the event of non payment of rent. You may wish to be informed of any problems at an early stage.

If you choose to manage the property yourself then it is important to take up references. These should include:

  • Previous address references
  • Bank statements
  • Credit references
  • Employers references

A useful aid is Tenant Verifier offered by Experian. Experian are one of the main credit reference agencies in the UK.

‘Tenant Verifier’ speeds up the pre-screening process by conducting address verification, credit checks and obtaining relevant references automatically.

‘Tenant Verifier’ allows you to tailor your pre-screening requirements, depending on the degree of detail you require.

Financial reports and full reports with employer and previous landlord references are available using ‘Tenant Verifier’.

Do not release the keys until the first months rent has been paid together with the deposit and direct debit agreement

An assured shorthold tenancy agreement should be carefully drawn up to include clauses to protect you against problem areas. The advice of an experienced letting agent would be useful in this respect. The agreement should be signed by both parties. Remember, this document will need to be produced if you have to take legal proceedings against the tenant.

If you experience problems with your tenant, and you wish them to leave, then you should issue them with written notice to vacate (Keep a copy of this notice). You will need to have a valid reason for evicting the tenant such as non payment of rent.

If the tenants do not leave, then you have several legal options, one of these is ‘accelerated possession procedure’. This is judged on paperwork submitted by both sides.

If you are successful, the court will give the tenant a date by which they should leave. If the tenant does not leave then an eviction warrant is issued and the bailiffs instructed.

If your current tenant is moving out, ask if they can recommend a new Tenant.