Making a tenancy agreement that is clear and compliant

How to remain compliant and without terrible tenants

Along with having landlord insurance, one of the first things that a landlord needs to do is create a tenancy agreement. One way of doing this is using a standard form and these are very easy to find in stationers or they can even be downloaded from appropriate online sites.

It is vital to make sure that the correct type of tenancy agreement is made out, especially if the landlord is going to be living in separate accommodation in the same property or if more than one room is being let out to students in what is a shared property. Every landlord should ensure that all forms being used for the tenancy agreement are up to date. The wording on all forms that were printed before 2007 are now highly unlikely to comply with the tenancy deposit scheme.

It isn’t always a good idea to set the initial tenancy for more than six months although this does not apply if the tenant is known and trusted already by the landlord. Six months is ample time for landlord and tenant to assess if the agreement is working for them both and also gives them both a get out clause if it is not ideal.

In a normal assured short hold tenancy the tenancy will continue after the first six months or whatever period was written on the agreement. It will normally continue on a monthly basis as long as the rent is paid each month on time.

A landlord should never amend a tenancy agreement without first speaking to a professional. If a landlord does not do this it may make the entire agreement invalid.

Complying with the “Landlord and Tenant Act 1987”

For the tenancy agreement to comply with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 it must contain the address of the landlord. However, if a landlord is living abroad the address of the letting agent can be used instead. All payments the tenant is responsible for and which are to be covered as part of the monthly rent should be stated clearly in the agreement.

Some landlords agree for them to pay some of the bills such as council tax and utility bills and they will normally have a clause inserted in the agreement which allows them to increase the rent if the cost of the bills increases.

It is also best to include an inventory of everything in the property, this includes contents and also the condition they are in at the start of the tenancy. Agree this with the new tenant before they move in so that there will be no disputes at a later date. Finally, it sounds obvious but a landlord needs to ensure that the tenancy agreement is properly signed by all the tenants, and that they have a copy of it with their signatures on before handing over the keys to the property.

Get landlord insurance here

Leave a Reply