Tenancy Agreements Solicitors
Petts Wood, Blackheath & Bexleyheath
A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and your tenant, which may be written or verbal. It gives each party certain rights, such as the tenant’s right to occupy the property and the landlord’s right to receive rent. It also places obligations or responsibilities on the parties.
The terms of the agreement must conform with statutory legal obligations. If they do not then the terms would not be enforceable in a court. Even if renting to family or friends it is advisable to have a written agreement to avoid misunderstandings about the tenancy agreement.
Types of tenancy agreements
Assured shorthold tenancy
These are the most commonly used tenancy agreements but are not suitable if
- The rent is over £100,000
- You intend to live at the same property
- The property is not the tenant’s principal home
- The tenant is a limited company or housing association
- It is a business tenancy
There is a fixed date by which the tenant must leave the property and if any of the terms of the agreement, such as non-payment of rent are breached the landlord may apply to the court for the removal of the tenant from the property.
It is not possible to obtain possession during the fixed term unless there is a breach of the tenant’s obligations under the terms of the agreement.
It is also not possible for you to increase the rent during the fixed term period. If the landlord wishes the tenant to leave the property at the end of the tenancy, then he/she must give two months’ notice in writing. If at the end of the fixed term period, neither the landlord nor the tenant takes steps to renew the tenancy formally, then the tenancy continues and comes to an end on two months’ written notice.
If an assured shorthold tenancy comes to an end and it is not replaced with a new fixed-term tenancy, then it becomes a periodic tenancy, which runs on, on a month by month or week by week basis, depending upon whether the rent is paid weekly or monthly. The rent will remain the same. The tenant retains their statutory rights as a tenant and the landlord must follow the proper eviction procedure if he/she wants to evict the tenant.
Contractual periodic tenancy
A landlord can give the tenant a periodic tenancy rather than a fixed-term tenancy, from the start, by giving an initial period of a month or week and then just allowing this to run on.
Rent Act tenancy
Before 1989 rent control laws under the Rent Act 1977 applied to landlords. These are known as “protected tenancies”.The tenant could apply for the rent payable to be assessed by the rent valuation office. Although the landlord has the right o apply to have it reviewed every two years the rental income is usually assessed at much below the current market rental income. Although the number of these tenancies in existence is dwindling, they affect the saleability of the property and therefore its value as it is extremely difficult for a landlord to gain possession of the property as the tenant has the security of tenure, even where there has been non-payment of rent. Please see our possession page for more information
License to occupy
Where the landlord does not want to give the tenant security of tenure, this would typically be granted or implied if a room in a house is rented out to a friend or family member, where there is a shared kitchen and bathroom. There need not be a set term and the landlord needs only to give 28days’ notice if he/she requires the occupant to leave. If the tenant does not move out within the required timescale then the landlord can apply to the court to evict them.
If the occupant has exclusive use of part or all of a property, this will be a tenancy even if the landlord holds it out to be a license to occupy. As a tenant, they would have different statutory rights, in particular, protection from eviction.
It is important that the tenancy document is properly drafted and executed to ensure that all parties understand their rights. We can provide you with a tenancy agreement specific to your needs for a small fixed fee. Please call us on 020 8301 4884 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you require our assistance.