Landlords & Tenancy

Residential Tenancy Agreements

Mark Matthews Solicitors provide legal representation to both landlords and tenants, we are able to advise landlords with properties to let, and tenants who wish to rent properties.

Tenancy Agreements

Tenancy agreements are the collective name given to the document(s) that represents a contract between a landlord and tenant, they must be in writing, the agreement must be completed in full and duly signed by both parties for it to be legally binding. Each of the parties should be given a copy of the signed agreement prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

As these agreements form a legal contract between the two parties and outline the obligations of both to each other, a well formed tenancy agreement can help to ensure a positive relationship between tenant and landlord for many years, each respecting the position of the other, and should the need arise a referral to the tenancy agreement can often clarify future disputes.

Tenants

Landlords are now required to meet minimum regulatory requirements with regard to such things as smoke alarms, gas appliances and the installation pipes and meter, which should be inspected annually, Landlords are also responsible for the condition of the electrical wiring and any electrical appliances provided as part of the tenancy.

It is currently recommended that electrical safety checks are carried out every five years, tenants should be provided with copies of any safety certificate for both electrical and gas safety checks.

If a landlord has taken a deposit/bond for a tenancy it is required that this deposit be held within a deposit protection scheme.

The tenancy agreement should also contain details of other parties who may be allowed to reside at the property but do not form part of the tenancy agreement, eg children over the age of 18 for example, and what should happen in the event of the death of the tenant.

Non exhaustive list of items that may be detailed within a tenancy agreement.

  1. Full Names of Parties Included in the agreement
  2. Initial Rental Amount, & Commencement Date
  3. Rental Review Process and Frequency
  4. Tenants Obligations
  5. Landlords Obligations
  6. Any Break Clause(s)
  7. Tenancy Termination Specifics & Other Agreed Items Between Parties
  8. Deposit Details and when a Deposit sanction(s) may occur if applicable.
  9. Inventory Lists and condition prior to commencement of the tenancy and agreed terms for the replacement of inventory items other than ware and tear.

Landlords

As well as providing advice to tenants Mark Matthews Solicitors also act for Landlords and can draw up tenancy agreements to suit your needs within today’s ever changing regulatory framework, and your legal obligations.

For example, did you know that as a landlord in the uk you are now obliged to check the status of anyone you rent a property to within the UK, not just the tenants but all the persons residing at the property, this is to make sure they have the legal right to rent property in the UK.

From 1 December 2016, landlords or agents in England could be charged with a criminal offence if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that they are letting to an illegal migrant.

Not including a section in your tenancy agreement regarding rent review and increases can leave you high and dry, and out of pocket. Unless you have an agreed procedure in place with a set criteria your tenant could appeal against your proposed increase and force you to continue to rent at the price initially agreed in the tenancy agreement.

Often landlords forget to specify what would happen in the event of a death of a tenant when other people have been living in the property, while a direct civil partner or spouse may have a right to succession, the friend who has been living there without agreement may not. This can lead to unsatisfactory events from both sides, delays dealing with a property at what will also be a very difficult time for those left behind.