A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant which stipulates the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. The agreement details the rights and responsibilities that the landlord and tenant have to each other, and the responsibilities they have to the property.
A tenancy agreement can be in writing or simply an oral agreement. It is preferable to have a written tenancy agreement in place, as this can be referred back to at a later date should a dispute occur over responsibilities.
A tenancy agreement should include the following information which must be given to the tenant within thirty days of paying their deposit.
- The full name and addresses of both parties i.e. the landlord and the tenant(s).
- The address of the rental property.
- The date from which the tenancy agreement starts and ends.
- The amount of rent to be paid and the date and frequency (i.e. weekly or monthly).
- Details of any deposit that must be paid and conditions under which the deposit will be kept or returned.
- Details of how the deposit is protected and the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme and its dispute resolution service.
- How to apply to get the deposit back.
- The name, account number and sort code of the account where rent should be paid into (if paying by direct debit).
- The notice period both the tenant and the landlord must give should either party wish to terminate the tenancy agreement early.
- The responsibility of each party towards the property e.g. who is responsible for minor repairs.
- Details as to whether the tenant is allowed to sublet or open the property to lodgers.
- Rules on whether pets and smoking are permitted.
- What to do if there is a dispute regarding the tenancy agreement or the deposit.
Once the tenancy agreement is written up both parties should take their time to read it carefully before signing.
A copy should be given to each party to retain.
Tenancy agreements once signed are legally binding and can be upheld by the courts. It is important that all tenancy agreements comply with statutory law. Any laws which are passed in parliament after the contract has been signed are still legally binding even if they are not specifically detailed within the agreement.
TENANTS ADVERTISING TIPS
TAKE YOUR TIME WHEN ENTERING A DESCRIPTION
When looking for a room, we ask you to fill out a profile about yourself and what house share you are looking for.
This information is used to find your ideal room, and it is what people with rooms to rent will see when searching. It is important to take your time and be specific about your requirements as this will ensure you are matched with suitable properties.
When entering a description, remember that people will be reading this and deciding if you are their kind of flatmate.
Be honest about yourself. Give some details about your hobbies and interests and your lifestyle choices. The more information you give, the more information people have to make a decision as to whether you are the right person for their property.
ADD A PICTURE
People always wonder why adding a picture helps… it’s not a dating site after all! Adding an image will make your advert stand out and statistics prove that you are three times more likely to find a housemate or flatmate by adding a picture.
It will also give people looking at your advert an insight into what you are like.
A common misunderstanding is the term “double room”. If you are a couple looking for a room then don’t assume that a double room is for two people as this normally just refers to the room size.
If you are unsure, then contact the person and ask if they will allow two people to share the room and if the costs
remain the same.
If you are lucky enough to make it onto a landlord’s short list of possible housemates and you are asked to attend a house viewing, we recommend you take a friend or family member with you. Not only is it safer, but it’s also good to have a second pair of eyes when looking around and meeting new people.
You have found a new house to live in so make sure you understand what’s required of you in your new home.
Read through your tenancy agreement and itinerary carefully.
Be sure to request a receipt for your deposit and keep all your paperwork in a safe place.