Tenancy Agreements

Tenancy Agreements are legally binding document between the homeowner and the tenant(s) that sets out the terms agreed upon and aims to protect both parties in the event of a dispute. Any tenancy for longer than 12 months must be in writing. Under The Private Tenancies Order a Landlord is obliged to provide the Tenant with a prescribed Statement of Tenancy Terms within 28 days free of charge however we believe that a copy of the Tenancy Agreement should also be provided to avoid confusion as to the nature of the agreement that has been made.

 And whilst cutting corners on this may be tempting to save you time and money in the short term, any experienced landlord will tell you that not having a proper tenancy agreement in place could end up costing you a lot more in the long run whenever you try to enforce the terms!

 5 Reasons Why You Need Tenancy Agreements There are many reasons why you need a professionally written tenancy agreement that has been drawn up by a solicitor who specializes in property law. Here are just some of the benefits of investing some extra time and money into getting this done right at the start.

1.To minimize the risk of late payment or non-payment of rent:   This is often one of the primary considerations for landlords. A signed agreement gives the homeowner some assurance of the tenant(s) commitment to pay the rental fee agreed upon and provides recourse if at some point the tenant(s) fail to fulfill their end of the bargain should legal action need to be instigated. The tenancy agreement will include the specifics of how much is to be paid, by whom, by which date, and how it should be paid. It will also detail the implications of late or non-payment to the tenants, such as including eviction and loss of deposit.

 2   .To protect your property from theft or damage: When you rent out a house it will inevitably come with some fixtures and fittings, perhaps it may even be fully furnished. A solicitor will advise you that an inventory of all items in the home should be carried out as part of the process. The condition of items should also be detailed. The tenancy agreement will outline the actions that will be taken if tenants fail to take care of your property.

  3. To distinguish between landlord and tenant responsibilities :  A tenancy agreement will clearly state the responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant(s) from the outset. This will address the ‘grey areas’ which may not necessarily be the same in every landlord/tenant agreement, for example, who is responsible for paying for rates, or household bills such as the TV license, phone and internet services, or who will cover the costs of repairs of the building e.g. roof or windows; the fixtures e.g. if the boiler breaks down or appliances such as the washing machine. The agreement will also detail how the property can be used, for example, whether you are able to sub-let or have pets. Clarification of these issues from the start can avoid stressful and costly arguments further down the line and will benefit both the landlord and the tenants.

4. To provide for the end of the Tenancy:  Setting out the term of the tenancy is beneficial in the event of your own circumstances changing, for example, you decide to move into the property yourself or wish to sell the property with vacant possession. Alternatively, if your tenants are not abiding by the rules then a tenancy agreement will outline how possession can be achieved legally, protecting both the rights of the landlord and without infringing those of the tenant(s).

5. To avoid legal action:   An experienced property solicitor will know exactly what needs to be included in your Tenancy Agreement to satisfy legal requirements and the documents that should be provided to the Tenant:

. Statement of Tenancy Terms

. Notice of Terms and Additional Information

. Rent Book

.Energy Performance

.Certificate Gas Safety Certificate Inventory of furnished items

. Tenancy Deposit Scheme

If you draft your own terms and conditions, there is a risk that you will leave out essential elements, or create loopholes that could be contested at a later date. Failure to comply with statutory requirements is an offense prosecuted by the local council. During the process of drawing up the tenancy agreement with your solicitor, legal requirements may come to light that you were unaware of. Tenants are protected by the law and if you do not take the appropriate advice you will leave yourself open to delay, frustration, and unnecessary expense. Protect yourself by engaging a solicitor to ensure that the tenancy agreement contains all the necessary information and is legally enforceable should any issues arise during the tenancy