In a number of our previous news articles and blog posts we have highlighted the importance of having a properly written Tenancy Agreement for all your lettings as they could help you if there is ever a legal dispute. Furthermore, Tenancy Agreements make it clear to your tenant when they are expected to pay rent, the length of the tenancy and their responsibilities which means that your business is protected during the length of the tenancy.
However, according to property experts in Wyre Forest, Worcestershire, a number of landlords are still failing to include crucial information in their Tenancy Agreements, which is leaving themselves and their businesses open to risk. Discussing the issue, director at Worcestershire property management and letting specialist Premier Places, Julia Williams, said: “Despite a number of high profile advisory campaigns within the industry, I am amazed that we are still seeing large numbers of landlords and tenants who, when looking to break their agreement, realise there is nothing in writing to protect them.”
“In a nutshell, some landlords or tenants simply overlook the need for tenancy protection while others choose to ignore it despite professional advice. But the result remains the same – months of upset hinged on a costly legal dispute for both sides. More than ever it is vital that tenants understand that their agreements are legally binding contacts and they cannot just hand the keys back at the drop of a hat. Many try to do so. And on the other side of the coin it’s vital that landlords understand that there are correct procedures to follow, especially if there is a breach of terms.”
“There is no legal requirement for shorthold tenancies to be in writing and that is one of the reasons why they can be overlooked. But verbal agreements give very little protection. They leave the door open to potential disputes over rent and repairs and it can be very difficult to get a possession order if the tenant breaches their terms. The situation is placing people across Wyre Forest into unnecessary property nightmares. There’s an old saying and it’s appropriate for this situation – a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”
Verbal contracts are not only dangerous as they are not legally binding but also because companies such as landlord insurance providers will require you to have written contracts if you contact them needing help. If you are not sure whether your Tenancy Agreement covers everything it should you should contact a professional such as a solicitor or a letting agent who can give you advice and make sure you are protected.