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Tenancy Contracts Explained

An agreement of the tenancy between the landlord and the tenant is necessary before a tenancy can be officially binding. For most rented property, this will be in the form of a guaranteed ‘shorthold’ tenancy.

The main point to realize with these sorts of rentals is that they are valid for a minimum of 6 months. That applies to both the tenant and the landlord. Occasionally, this minimum period can be extended so be sure to check the arrangement with your landlord wisely, particularly if you think you may want to move out earlier, or if the Landlord is threatening to terminate the tenancy early.

This particular agreement can be written or oral. Nevertheless, an oral agreement can lead to complications and misunderstandings so it is logical to demand a written agreement. Your tenancy agreement institutes the rights, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant.

A tenant’s right to a written tenancy agreement may vary across the UK. In England, Northern Ireland, and Wales tenants in the private rental sector don’t have a right to a written agreement. In Scotland, however, a landlord must offer the tenant with a written agreement.

The written agreement of the tenancy should include (but are not limited to) the follow details:

  • The renter’s name as well as the landlord’s
  • The complete address of the property
  • The extent of the tenancy period
  • If animals are permitted in the property
  • The amount of rent fee, together with any payments in advance and if it includes bills such as water rates and council tax
  • Whether the tenancy period is for a fixed length of time or is flexible. If open ended, the agreement should contain details of when the rent fee can be increased
  • Specific details about the deposit (what it covers and when the tenant will get it back)
  • Duties and responsibilities of the tenant, such as paying bills and keeping the property in good condition
  • The obligations of the landlord to make sure the home is kept in good repair
  • An inventory of all the furniture and other goods included with the rental property

Written agreements for renters also consist of indirect terms that are not specifically written down. These may include the right to live peaceably without nuisance from the landlord. The landlord must not categorize and discriminate against the renter’s race, sex, sexuality, religion or disability.

Home Renting Guide

Each section has been broken up and placed on its own page below to make it easier. Click the links for the individual topics and go through our complete guide to renting your home.

Table Of Contents

1. Introductionto renting your home
2. Renting From A Letting Agent Or A Landlord
3. Viewing A Home For Rent And What Essential Questions To Ask
4. Tenancy Contracts Explained
5. Responsibilities Of The Tenant
6. Renting Deposits And Fees
7. Tenancy Deposit Schemes
8. Rental Insurance
9. Dealing With Complications That May Arise When Renting
10. Where To Go When In Need Of Help