A tenancy agreement (or lease) is a written contract between landlord and tenant that is legally enforceable by both parties. A full and detailed tenancy agreement will lay down the obligations on both parties and avoid any grey and so potentially contentious areas both during and at the end of the tenancy. Nothing will be implied and the content of the written agreement will be definitive. For this reason the agreement can be lengthy but this article will focus on the six most fundamental conditions in the lease.
1. Parties to the lease
The start and end date of the tenancy and the names of the tenant(s) and landlord(s) will be outlined. Detailing the names of the tenants can be important as there is a distinction between an individual contract between each tenant (if more than one) and the landlord and a joint tenancy agreement.
2. Rent and deposit
The amount of rent, method and frequency of payment will all be detailed. The lease will also contain a clause providing for termination of the lease in the event of late rent payment. See the current debate around eviction for non-payment of rent in the light of the current coronavirus epidemic. Most leases call for a deposit to be lodged with a government backed deposit scheme, to protect the landlord against late rent payments or damage to the property during the tenancy.
Tenants will usually be liable for utility bills, the telephone line and Council Tax.
This will cover responsibility for minor repairs and rules on redecoration.
This is basically a checklist for both landlord and tenant to detail any furniture provided by the landlord and any pre-existing faults with the property. The use of home inspection software such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/ will allow for efficient managed property check-ins, checkouts, inspections and for a record of condition of contents and furnishings. The latter being an important consideration in the return of the tenant’s deposit.
6. Subletting and notice on termination
Inclusion of a subletting provision in the lease will be a decision for each individual landlord as will the notice period to terminate (unless governed by statute) and might provide for break clauses in the lease.
All in all, a lot for both parties to consider before signing on the dotted line.a