What is a tenancy agreement?
A tenancy agreement is a verbal or written statement of the letting terms between yourself and the tenant. If you are letting independently or through the council's private sector lettings team, the tenancy agreement will be between you and the tenant. If you are letting through a housing association, council private sector leasing scheme or an agent, the tenancy agreement will be between the organisation and the tenant.
What type of agreement do I need?
This will depend on the type of accommodation you are letting. Most lettings are assured shorthold tenancies that last for a minimum of six months. An assured shorthold tenancy allows you to charge a market rent and provides you with a guaranteed right to have your property back should you need it. If you are letting rooms in your home it may be a good idea to let on a monthly basis.
What should be in the agreement?
- When the tenancy starts and how long the tenancy is for
- The rent and when it is due
- Who is responsible for gas, electricity, water and council tax bills
- Conditions of tenancy, such as not allowing pets.
Where can I get an agreement?
You can get a tenancy agreement drawn up by a solicitor or get a standard agreement from stationers or online.
What do I do about noisy tenants?
If a tenant creates a lot of noise or has frequent parties you should write to them stating they are breaking their tenancy agreement and ask them to stop their anti-social behaviour. You can also contact the council’s noise control team.
What do I do if my tenant falls into rent arrears?
You can try and negotiate a private agreement that the tenant pays off arrears each week on top of their usual rent. Your tenant may be able to claim housing benefit. If these options do not work, you can take legal action to end the tenancy or obtain a money judgement from the county court. You will probably need to consult a solicitor about this.
How do I get my tenant to leave?
You must follow the proper legal procedures, even if your tenant owes you rent or is being a nuisance. In all cases you must give the tenant notice to leave and if they do not leave at the end of this notice period, you will have to get a possession order from the county court.
Who deals with tenancy problems if I am letting through a housing association, council private sector leasing scheme or a letting agent?
Your management or leasing agreement should state who will deal with tenancy problems.