Letting agreements explained

Letting agreements explained

The property world can be confusing but once you get your head around the different policies and terms, it really doesn’t have to be. We’re always asked about the different tenancy agreements that are out there so we’ve decided to explain things to make being in your dream home that little easier.

A tenancy agreement is a contract between a tenant and their landlord and can either be written or oral. A tenancy agreement gives certain rights to both the tenant and landlord and is therefore crucial.

If you have a written tenancy agreement, it should highlight the type of tenancy that you have. Both parties must also sign this agreement and everyone involved should receive a copy. Your tenancy agreement is also likely to include the start date of the lease, contact details, the duration of the tenancy, payment, notice period, obligations to repair the property and any other information that may affect the lease.

It is important to note that a tenancy agreement even exists if there has only been an oral agreement between you and your landlord. Yet these can be difficult to enforce due to lack of evidence, particularly if problems arise. Implied terms of tenancy agreements form part of the contract even though they have not specifically been agreed between you and your landlord. Some of the most common implied terms are that your landlord has a duty to carry out basic repairs and the tenant has the right to live peacefully.

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is the most commonly used type of a tenancy agreement and can be used for flats and houses (self-contained units). It is also used where a property is rented as a whole to a group of people such as students or young professionals. Any deposit paid must be protected under one of the Government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes.

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (Room Only) is used when a non resident landlord rents out an individual room to a tenant – for example, a shared house or bedsit. The accommodation will be non self-contained meaning that the tenant will share facilities with other tenants in the same house/building. Similar to the agreement above, any deposit paid must be protected under one of the Government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes.

An Excluded Tenancy Agreement (Lodgers Agreement) is used when you are a resident landlord, sharing the living accommodation with your tenant. This does not create an assured shorthold tenancy agreement and is outside the scope of the Protection from Eviction provisions. Unlike other agreements, any deposit paid does not have to be protected under one of the Government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes.

A Non Assured Tenancy Agreement can be used in situations where the rent is not more than £250 per annum, the tenant has their only/main home elsewhere (for example if the tenant lives with their family elsewhere at weekends and uses the property during the week). This type of agreement can also be used if you are a resident landlord but do not share accommodation with the tenant. However this also means that you must not share facilities with the tenant but your residence elsewhere in the same property must be your only home. In all of these cases as the tenancy is not an assured tenancy, any deposit paid does not have to be protected under one of the Government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes.

Once you’ve read and begun to understand the different types of lease agreements, it is usually quite clear in knowing which one is best for you and your situation. A tenancy agreement can also normally only be changed if both parties agree so make sure you understand everything before signing. If you have any questions or would like some more information, then please get in touch today.