A tenancy agreement is a legal agreement between a landlord and their tenant outlining the rights and responsibilities of each party during the tenancy. This is a legal contract that is a written record of the agreement between the parties and is there to protect the legal rights of both sides.
A tenancy agreement is a contract that can be either written or verbal between a landlord and a tenant. Tenancy agreements set out the terms and conditions for the tenancy and can be either:
A tenancy agreement protects the rights of the parties. For tenants this includes the right to:
Landlord’s rights are also protected, such as the right to:
If either side find that their rights have been breached by the other side, then it is important to take legal advice from specialist property lawyers to ensure the best outcome in your case.
The tenancy agreement needs to specify the type of agreement that has been entered into. It must also include the following information
The tenancy agreement can also include whether the property can be sublet and who is responsible for minor repairs.
There are various forms of tenancy that can be used.
This is the most common form of tenancy. It allows the landlord to reclaim the property at the end of the agreement, although they must give at least two months’ notice. Deposits have to be protected in a government-approved scheme. Tenants also have a degree of protection against rent increases in the initial fixed term review period, depending on whether there is a rent review clause.
Not all tenancies can be an AST, and it is only possible where:
• It is a private rental and the tenancy started after 15 January 1989
• It is the tenant’s main accommodation and the landlord does not live in the property
• The rent is more than £250 a year (£1000 in London) and less than £100,000 a year
• It is not a holiday let
• The landlord is not the local council
• It is not a business or licensed premises tenancy
If the tenancy was between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997 then this type of tenancy is possible and offers increased protection from eviction.
If the tenancy started before 15 January 1989 then it may be regulated, which offers increased protection from eviction and the right to apply for a “fair rent”, which is independently assessed and is the maximum that a landlord can then charge for the property (even if the tenancy agreement has a higher amount).
These apply where a tenant rents a room but shares other rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom with the landlord. This type of tenancy offers less protection from eviction.
Protected tenancies are those that started before 15 January 1989, when the relevant legislation was the Rent Act 1977 for governing tenancies. Tenants had very strong rights under these type of tenancies:
None have been created sine January 1989 but there are still a lot in existence.
Where the landlord wishes to end the tenancy, then they need to give the required amount of notice for the particular type of tenancy. If you are still in the fixed term period, then this is only possible for set reasons such as the tenants being behind with their rent or having used the premises for illegal activities.
If there is a break clause, then the landlord can ask the tenant to leave by giving notice once this period has passed.
A tenant must also pay rent until the end of the fixed term period. After this they are allowed to move out early if they can come to an agreement with the landlord or there is a break clause in the agreement. A tenant can also leave after giving the relevant notice.
If either party wishes to change the agreement, then the other side needs to agree and this needs to be done by either updating the current agreement or writing a new one.
The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.