Landlord News

What to Include in a Tenancy Agreement

Em Morley - February 25, 2015

my|deposits have put together some advice on what you should include in your tenancy agreement.

Head Adjudicator at the firm, Suzy Hershman explains that the agreement “outlines the contractual obligations between you and your tenant.” She says that it is “absolutely paramount that your tenants understand what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.”

What to Include in a Tenancy Agreement

What to Include in a Tenancy Agreement

She continues: “As with an inventory, your tenancy agreement can be used as a negotiation tool at the end of the tenancy, in order to avoid dispute over the deposit money and should always be submitted as evidence in the event of a formal dispute.”

On what should be in there, Suzy says: “It should include the basics, which may seem obvious, but just for clarity, it will include: rent payments, the amount that’s due, when that amount is due, so the payment dates; details on the deposit protection, this clause should set out the circumstances in which the landlord may make deductions from the deposit; any information on how and when the rent will be reviewed; landlord and tenant obligations, for example who is responsible for repairs; bills your tenants are responsible for; rules on sub-letting; and any end of tenancy requirements and notice periods.”

Suzy advises: “Consider a provision on whether the tenancy can be ended early and how this can be done. You may wish to include other clauses, which are essential if you want to rely on them.”

The agreement should also: “[Make] your tenant aware that smoking in the property is not permitted; the outcome of nuisance at the property; whether pets are allowed; any responsibility for garden maintenance, if there is a garden; and if a landlord or agent wishes to charge any administration fees.

“Be aware though, that administration fees must be reasonable and justified to be found fair. These are all often issues for deposit disputes, so don’t get caught out.

“Of course any clause in your tenancy agreement has to be deemed to be fair to the tenant. The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] guidance on unfair terms state that a clause that is inserted into a contract will not automatically be deemed to be fair, just because it is present. It must be construed with regard to the facts of each case and how reasonable it is.”

For more advice, download my|deposits’ free guide at www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenancy-agreements.