Are you using the right tenancy agreement?
All tenancies need a tenancy agreement. It is really important.
A good tenancy agreement:
- Provides proof of what was agreed
- Includes clauses to protect the position of both landlord and tenant
- Can serve as a ‘manual’ for the tenancy which both landlord and tenant can refer to
Here are some specific things which a well-drafted tenancy can do for landlords:
- Provide for all rent to be payable in advance (by default, rent is payable in arrears)
- Nail down exactly who is entitled to live in the property – this is helpful both for compliance with the right to rent rules and the HMO rules
- Ensure that the tenancy is compliant with the new Tenant Fees Act.
However, not all tenancy agreements are the same.
Most tenancies are assured shorthold tenancies. But not where:
- The tenant is a limited company
- The landlord lives in self-contained accommodation in the same building (in most cases)
- The rent is over £100.000 pa
- The tenants have been living there since before 15 January 1989 or (in some cases) 27 February 1997.
Some accommodation is not a tenancy at all. For example:
- If the accommodation is on a boat
- If the landlord provides services where they enter the room regularly (e.g. to clean it)
In all these different circumstances a different form of agreement should be used. So how do you find out what the occupation type is and if it is a tenancy, what type of tenancy?
We have two services to help you:
We discussed the Tenancy Trail here. The Which Tenancy Agreement trail is very similar but is specifically about the type of tenancy agreement you should use.
It is completely free and, although it references the Landlord Law tenancy agreements, it will be equally useful if you wish to use tenancy agreements from another provider.
You will find it here.