The tenancy agreement is a contract between the tenant and the landlord. It may be written or verbally agreed. The tenancy agreement gives certain rights to both the tenant and the landlord. This includes your right to occupy the accommodation and the landlord’s right to receive rent for letting the accommodation.
What can the tenancy agreement include?
A tenancy agreement can consist express and implied terms:
- Express terms – These include what is in the written tenancy agreement, if there is one, in the rent book, and/or what was agreed verbally
- Implied terms – These are rights given by law or arrangements established by custom and practice.
Does the tenancy agreement need to be a written document?
Legally speaking, there is no requirement for the tenancy agreement to be in writing. However, a written agreement will decrease any disputes regarding the occupation/property, term, rental and rights and responsibilities of the tenant and landlord in relation to the property.
Furthermore, the agreement can be used to bring possession and rent arrears proceedings if necessary so we would advise that you have a written tenancy agreement.
What should you do with the deposit taken from a tenant?
The deposit for the property, taken from the tenant should be immediately paid into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the arranged information sent out to the tenant. Failure to comply with this regulation could result in a fine/statutory penalty of 3 x the deposit for the landlord or agent. Furthermore, you cannot serve a valid Notice to Quit without complying with the requirements of Section 213 and 214 Housing Act 2004.
What action must be taken if the tenant stops paying the rent?
Try to first call the tenant on the phone, text them or write to the tenant to request the rent. Discover the reasons for late or non-payment of the rent is. If the tenant’s financial situation has changed the tenant may be entitled to housing benefit, which can be used to pay the rent. If there is no valid reason for the non-payment it may be necessary to serve a Section 21 or Section 8 Notice. You will need to take legal advice as to which notice would be appropriate. JMR Solicitors can guide you through this process and help you take the best route of action, just get in touch.