What is Tenancy Agreement?
A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding and concise contract between a tenant and a landlord with regards to a residential property.
Can landlords write any terms and conditions they want into a contract?
No, they can’t. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999) applies to all rented tenancies. As such any clauses deemed unfair could be unenforceable. This only refers to the standard terms of a contract (not clauses that have been separately negotiated). Examples of Unfair Terms could be penalty charges, exclusion by the landlord/agent of accepting responsibility for loss or damage to personal property and ambiguous legal clauses.
What should the Tenancy Agreement Cover?
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- Landlords Details
- Tenants Details
- Property Details
- Room Details
- Term of Tenure
- The Rent
- Method of Payment
- The Deposit
- The Inventory
- Details of the Agent
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What should I do if I do not need to use all the terms of the contract?
For any part(s) of the contract not required you must strike a line through the section and have both parties sign and initial it.
Can I use an assured shorthold tenancy?
Not everybody will be eligible to use an assured shorthold tenancy. The Housing Act defines certain tenancy categories that are excluded:
- Lettings to companies
- Lettings at no rent, low rent or high rent (over £25,000 per annum)
- Holiday lettings
- Tenancies granted by a resident landlord i.e. a landlord who lives in the same property as the tenant
- Tenancies of property let with more than two acres of agricultural land, or an agricultural tenancy
- Tenancies entered into before 15 January 1989, or a tenancy that was previously a protected tenancy
The tenancies listed above are known as 'common law' or 'contractual' tenancies and not assured shorthold tenancies.
If you are not excluded from the list above your tenancy must also meet three other requirements before you can get an assured shorthold tenancy agreement:
What is Stamp Duty?
- the tenant is an individual
- the dwelling is let as separate accommodation
- the dwelling is the tenant's main or principal home
Stamp duty is payable on all leases although in fact, stamping is not compulsory for short residential leases but a letting agreement must be stamped before it can be accepted in court as a valid document. Therefore, many firms and landlords do not bother to stamp tenancy agreements unless there is a risk that the document may be produced in court (i.e. if the landlord starts possesion proceedings). Although leases should be stamped within 30 days of execution, The Stamp Office will generally accept late documents on payment of a small penalty charge.