Whether you are currently a landlord or aspiring to be, there are all sorts of items on any landlords list to complete. With a priority being having the correct tenancy agreement.
What is a tenancy agreement?
Simply, a tenancy agreement is a contract between the landlord and tenant. The contract compiles a list of rights that each party has within the agreement. For example, the landlord has the right to receive payment of rent from the tenant. It will set out any legal terms and conditions for both parties and the rules both must follow.
A tenancy can either be written down or be a spoken agreement.
Any tenancy agreement can be covered over both a fixed-term tenancy or a periodic tenancy.
Fixed-Term – A tenancy set over a certain period of time. Example, June 2019 to June 2020.
Periodic – this can be running on either a week-by-week basis or month-by-month
What if I don’t have a tenancy agreement?
If you are either a landlord or tenant, you will have rights and responsibilities even if you don’t have an agreement. To gain more understanding on this, there are tools and tips on the Gov.UK website.
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What is included in a tenancy agreement?
Different aspects are added within all agreements that need to be covered to fulfil the Government’s standards. These cover the following:
- Document checks
- Anti-social behaviour
As previously mentioned, there are also different rights and responsibilities for both parties.
Rights and Responsibilities for a Tenant
Within an agreement, there are different rules and responsibilities that have to be followed. However, each tenant has certain rights that will be written into the contract.
Tenants have the right to:
- Challenge any changes to rent increase that is excessive
- See an EPC before moving into the property
- Have your deposit returned once the tenancy has finished
- Know who your landlord is
- Have protection from any unfair evictions
- Live within the property undisturbed by any landlord
- Be living within a property that is safe and not in a state of repair
As a tenant however, there are responsibilities to follow to make sure the property is well looked after. A landlord will give over twenty-four hours’ notice period before visiting the rental property. However, landlords have the right to access the property at any time to carry out repairs. Although, they aren’t able to access the property unless its a reasonable time unless it is an emergency.
Tenants must also look after the following:
- Look after the property properly
- Pay the agreed rate of rent. This needs to proceed even if there are any disputes between either parties
- Any other charges agreed with the landlord must be paid. This could be any utility bills or council tax
- Fund or repay any damage cause by yourself
Rights and Responsibilities for a Landlord
When renting a property, landlords naturally create responsibilities for themselves regarding their property.
If you are a landlord, there are certain safety aspects that need to be covered within your property. Overall, the main thing to note is that your property is safe from any hazards.
- Gas safety – Any gas equipment that is installed within the property needs to be maintained by a Gas Safe engineer. This should be done within the first 28 days of a tenancy or before the tenant moves in.
- Electrical safety – Within the property, the electrical system and any appliances must be completely tested and sage to use.
- Fire Safety – There are set regulations regarding fire safety. Legislation states that there must be both a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm in the property; These must be present in any rooms with a fire burning appliance. The property must be equipped with extinguishers and accessible emergency routes.
Where can you find templates to make an agreement?
If you are considering building your own agreement, it is worth using two tools:
- The Gov.UK website
- Simply Business website
The Government website will help with making sure as a landlord everything crucial is included.
The Simply Business website is partnered with Clarks Legal and allows you to freely download a template. Once downloaded, you can change it as you see fit.
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I started writing for PPO back in August 2019. I particularly enjoy writing about new housing developments and upcoming property events.