5th August 2017
Agony Agent is here to help!
Q: I have a friend moving into my rental property, do you think I need a tenancy agreement?
A: Yes! Providing a written contract or rental agreement is an important part of a tenancy. A tenancy agreement is a legally binding document which gives the tenant the right to live in the rental property, and the landlord the right to receive rent.
It’s important that the tenancy agreements landlords are issuing are up to date and legally compliant. Due to the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of the rental sector, landlords need to keep up to date at all times. If this sounds like too much hassle, then use the services of a letting agent.
Providing an agreement may not be a legal requirement, but if you intend to take a deposit – which the majority of landlords do – then it’s in your interest to have a written tenancy agreement. Without a written tenancy agreement, you won’t be able to claim possession of the property using a Section 21.
This is just one of the legal reasons why a signed tenancy agreement is so crucial for landlords. There are also a number of more practical reasons. It also gives you the opportunity to set some clear boundaries from the beginning, for example, can the tenants keep pets? Are they allowed to sublet the property? By making clear what you expect of the tenant and what they should expect of you, both can feel more at ease and the chances of a disagreement or dispute further down the line are also reduced.
What should a tenancy agreement include?
The most basic tenancy agreement for an AST needs to include:
- The property address
- The details of all parties involved
- The landlord’s service address
- The amount of rent and how it will be paid by the tenant
- The deposit amount and which scheme it will be protected by
- The term of the tenancy
- Notice periods required to bring the tenancy to an end
- The rights and obligations of both parties
- Any special arrangements
It’s important that two copies of any agreement are signed and dated, the tenant should have one signed by the landlord, and the landlord should have one signed by the tenant. If a landlord or tenant wants to make changes to the terms of a tenancy agreement once the tenancy is underway, the other party must consent to the change.
It’s key that the document is legally binding and is up to date. So, if you do create it yourself, it would be wise to run it past an experienced letting agent or property lawyer to make sure it ticks all the boxes. If you don’t want to create your own tenancy agreement, most letting agents provide templates or sample agreements. You can also ask a solicitor to draft a tenancy agreement for you to your specific requirements. A tenancy agreement is a crucial document when it comes to letting a property and so if you don’t have one in place, or you’re unsure about the agreement you’re currently providing, you should take the time to review the Government guidance or ask an expert.
Tenancy agreements benefit both landlords and tenants, helping to reduce the potential risk of problems or disputes.
Feel free to contact me if you need any assistance.