Tenancy agreement detail and what to look for Tenancy agreement detail
Here’s what to look for, along with some of the technical terms that should be included so you can get up to speed, and understand what you’re signing up to.
What to look for
Date of the contract
This will normally be the start date of the tenancy and the date your tenancy comes to an end, should you choose not to renew it.
The parties involved
It should include the names and address details of all the tenants, the landlord and anyone else involved in the let, such as the letting agents.
Ensures a tenant’s details can be shared only with parties relevant to the let, for example an inventory clerk or a utility company.
The tenant’s obligations
This section should set out what you should and shouldn’t do, whilst you are renting the property.
How much rent is payable, when is it due and how it should be paid. If you are sharing with other tenants or friends, it’s important to check the agreement on who will be responsible for the rent if any of you leave early.
Look for phrases such as, ‘Severally liable’ or ‘jointly’ – if these are used you may be individually fully liable for any rent missed or damaged caused by another tenant.
This can obviously have serious financial implications, and from our experience at university it’s quite common for people to leave their house, so we would strongly recommend you check this before signing your agreement.
Who is responsible for repairs?
Your landlord is generally responsible for structural, plumbing, drains and electrical faults.
General wear and tear
The agreement should include a section explaining that some parts of the property may naturally deteriorate and that you shall not be liable for this.
Possession and notices
The notice you have to give the landlord or letting agent if you want to leave the property should be given, and how the landlord can regain possession of their property.
Does your landlord own the property?
If your property is mortgaged then you could well be at risk of sudden eviction, should your landlord default on their payments, so we would recommend you check, if only for peace of mind.
Signatures and what to take when signing
At the end of the agreement document there should be a section for you and all your housemates to sign, along with the landlord or letting agent. When you go to sign your tenancy agreement, your agent or landlord is likely to require the following from each tenant:
- A recent bank statement.
- Bank details for payments.
- Photo Identification.
- Sometimes landlords will also require parents to act as a guarantor.
Express and Implied terms of a tenancy agreement
In addition to the more common conditions and details that are outlined above, there are a few more terms and conditions to look for.
- The type of tenancy.
- Whether, and how, other people are allowed to use the property.
- Whether rent includes ‘extras’ such as utilities and/or council tax, or if they will be paid separately by the tenant.
- The manner, and time, in which the landlord must be notified before the tenant leaves the property.
Implied terms are those that may not necessarily be written in a tenancy agreement, or discussed in an oral agreement, but are in effect due to the law or by ‘custom and practice’ (meaning these terms have become common and accepted practice):
- That the landlord will carry out basic repairs to the premises and property as required.
- That the landlord will keep equipment for utilities (such as heaters, boilers, etc.) in working order.
- That the landlord will not become a nuisance or harass the tenants during the tenancy.
- That the tenant will take proper care of the premises and property during their tenancy and report necessary repairs as required.
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We aim to provide the best advice about renting student accommodation, with up to date information about the University areas you could be living in. If you have a comment, let us know so we can keep the site up to date for everyone. Many thanks Ed x