Any tenant looking to rent a property will need to ensure that the agreement is legal by ensuring it is placed into writing and signed by both tenant and landlord. In many cases, the tenant may have already accepted the tenancy verbally before any contract has been written up.
A verbal agreement, however, is very much weak, and there’s absolutely no protection for those tenants should things go wrong between tenant and landlord.
Make sure you get a proper tenancy agreement and always read through everything properly before signing anything! This will avoid any issues further down the line, as well as reducing potential strife now when both parties are getting along fine. If you are not so educated on UK property law, then it is always a good idea to consult a tenant lawyer to make sure that the agreement or contract is favorable to you as a tenant.
In fact, as a tenant, you wouldn’t want to sign an official tenant agreement unless you were certain about the terms within it. It’s important that you take the tenant agreement seriously to avoid problems later on!
Renting a Property in England and Wales
When renting a property in England and Wales, a tenant will usually have to sign an official tenant agreement. This means that all terms of the tenancy will be written down in this document (and signed by both tenant and landlord). The tenant is not tied to any details of the tenancy agreement as such – they are free to leave at any time with no repercussions, providing the tenant follows all terms for leaving their home and pays off all rent commitments. In Scotland, though, tenants generally do not need to sign an official tenant lease unless requested to (which doesn’t happen very often anyway). Also, Scottish Tenants can only be evicted under certain circumstances which are not applicable to other parts of the UK.
Assured Short hold Tenancies (AST) are the most common types of tenant lease in England and Wales as they don’t involve a lot of responsibility from either party, and they’re easy to leave if you want to move – which means they’re ideal for students renting property or for people who simply need somewhere to live without worrying about being tied down too much by their tenancy. The tenant does not have an automatic right to stay in their home beyond the initial fixed term â€“ unlike with an assured short hold tenancy, however. If you intend to stay longer than six months, then it’s worth talking to your landlord before this point so that you both are aware of each other’s circumstances.
If you’re thinking of renting a property, then it’s important to ensure that the tenancy agreement and tenancy is correct â€“ tenancy agreements are legally binding documents, so if you enter into one without knowing what you’re doing, it could result in further problems for both parties. You should read through any tenant agreements carefully before signing them, and if there’s anything you don’t understand, then ask about this with your landlord or letting agent before you sign.
Keep a good relationship with your landlord
Having a tenant that keeps on top of their rent payments and doesn’t cause any problems for the landlord is ideal, but unfortunately, not all situations are like this. If you’re a tenant who finds themselves in arrears, then it’s always best to try and get back into a good situation with your landlord, rather than trying to ignore them or put off paying them; it can be helpful if you keep an up-to-date record of how much money you owe your landlord so that at least they know roughly how much outstanding rent they have. Make sure that you pay anything extra such as gas bills, whenever there’s a shortfall â€“ without this, it could make matters worse because once your energy supplier has noticed that there are issues with payments from this particular property, they will contact your landlord if the bills are in their name.
If you do decide that it’s time to move out because of a serious problem with your landlord, then the first thing you must do is try and get hold of an inventory for your current tenancy. This will show exactly what state the property was in when you moved in â€“ if there are any problems, this should get sorted out when you move out so that neither tenant nor landlord can argue about whether something was already broken before you moved into the property or not.
And although it may seem like a lot of hassle, once you’ve left the property, make sure that someone checks over all of the items in situ and takes detailed photographs as well; this record will be very useful when you come to move somewhere else and will ensure that no foul play occurs on behalf of your landlord.