The tenancy agreement is a hugely important document for both landlord and tenant. At the point of the contract being signed, both parties are keen to get on with the process of moving the tenant into the rental property. However, as a landlord, you must ensure the agreement is up to date and provides the tenant with all the information they need to know about living in your property.
We are pleased to say we have assisted many St Neots landlords, and here are our top tips on tenancy agreements.
Ensure the agreement is up to date
You don’t need us to tell you legislation in the letting industry is continually being reviewed and updated. Changes to legislation may affect clauses, terms and conditions in a tenancy agreement. Therefore, you must ensure you and your tenant are signing an updated agreement which complies with regulations and current industry expectations.
While oral agreements are legal, it is best to have them in writing
As many of the rights and responsibilities in the letting industry are statutory, there is no need for a written agreement. Once a landlord collects rent from a tenant, a legally binding contract is in place. However, when there is no proof of the terms being agreed upon, there is a chance that problems will arise at a later date. Therefore, it is also best to have a written agreement where both parties acknowledge the agreement and are seen to have signed off on the matter.
Key features the agreement must include
The tenancy agreement should consist of the length of the agreement. While the initial fixed term of a rental period, in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, usually is six months through to 12 months, it should be detailed. With many mortgage lenders offering longer tenancies, it is possible to sign an agreement of up to three years, which may be preferable to some tenants.
The tenancy agreement should also detail the leave period. If there is no breach of agreement, the landlord must provide the tenant with at least two months’ notice. The landlord shouldn’t ask the tenant to leave until the conclusion of their initial fixed term agreement.
Other aspects which should be detailed in the agreement include:
- All information relating to rent
- Who is responsible for what maintenance work in the property?
- The deposit required, and how the deposit will be protected
Including this information will help you and the tenant know exactly what is required of them.
“It is vital the tenancy agreement is detailed, and covers everything you and your tenant needs to know”, said Thomas Morris St Neots Branch Manager Andrea Delaney. “If you need assistance dealing with legislation or administrative issues, we are always happy to help, so get in touch.”
Letting property is stressful, but with the right support, you can make the process easier. Book a valuation at a time that is suitable to you or alternatively, you can phone our St Neots branch, managed by Andrea Delaney by calling us on 01480 403020.