A tenancy agreement is a legally binding document, between landlord and a tenant, that is drawn up to agree on the terms of a tenancy when a property is rented. It is an essential document and you should never move into a property (tenants) or let someone move into your property (landlords) without one. In general, the document details the particulars of the tenancy such as the monthly property rental and payment date, the date the tenancy will begin, whether pets are permitted to be kept at the property and general ‘housekeeping’ type terms such as expectations and requirement for both landlord and tenant. Some tenancy agreements are concise documents which provide basic key information, but many are slightly lengthier and more comprehensive which can be daunting when asked to sign by the enthusiastic letting agent!
KeyRing Lettings have 5 tips on what to look out for.
- Correct information
It is important to check that the information on the tenancy agreement is correct, of course, all reasonable action will have been taken by the letting agency to ensure its accuracy already, but it is a legal document so it is better to triple check things that could have been missed. Check that names have been spelt correctly, that the address and postcode are correct, the start date and term (how long the tenancy agreement is for) are what you expected/ agreed. Make sure you let the letting agency know of any discrepancies
- Special conditions
Not all tenancies are straight forward so anything that perhaps isn’t the ‘norm’ should be included in the tenancy addendum or agreement. Examples are things like the permission for pets to be kept at the property, responsibility for chimney sweeping if there is a log burner, restricted access to parts of the property ie the garage might not be for the tenants use or if the property is near a school there might be a restriction on when maintenance work can be undertaken.
- Fair and reasonable
The letting agency is unlikely to have allowed any terms to be included that are contrary to this, however, some terms might not be reasonable for the property in question and landlords even provide their tenancy agreement. The terms within the agreement should always be fair, for instance it is not fair or reasonable for the tenant to be liable for the provision of new carpets throughout the property at the end of the tenancy, however, they should make a contribution to the cost of replacing a carpet if they damage it during the tenancy (NB only a contribution) taking into account fair wear and tear.
- Read it!
Although it can be a daunting document, make sure you read it. Be sure to ask your letting agency to clarify anything that you are unsure about and try, where possible, to digest some of the information it contains.
- Your copy
Once the tenancy agreement has been signed, make sure you keep it in a safe place. It should be your ‘go-to’ point of reference should you need information during the tenancy. It might be requested when setting up utilities, council tax, contents insurance or applying for a school place for your child.
Keyring lettings welcome any questions about the tenancy and tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement will be provided as part of the lettings set up process and, on some occasions, KeyRing Lettings will sign on the landlords’ behalf at the commencement of the tenancy.