Tenancy Agreements

As a landlord, it is essential to have a well-drafted tenancy agreement in place to ensure that your property interests are adequately protected and that your tenant knows exactly what is expected of them. A robust agreement will also reduce the scope for misunderstandings and disagreements.

As a tenant, you have certain rights, and taking advice before you sign a tenancy agreement will help ensure that you understand what these are and that they are observed. We can check that the landlord has the right structure in place to handle your tenancy, including a government-approved deposit scheme account to protect your deposit.

At Heringtons, our landlord and tenant solicitors can represent you in entering into a tenancy agreement, checking that you understand the terms and conditions and the implications of signing. We have many years of experience in representing landlords and tenants and we understand how to minimise the risk of a dispute arising.

Our tenancy agreement services include:

  • Drafting and approving assured shorthold tenancy agreements and other landlord tenancy agreements
  • Advice on rent deposits and tenancy deposit schemes
  • Advice on tenancy law and tenancy disputes

For information on other related services we offer, see our landlord and tenant solicitors page.

Get in touch with our experienced landlord and tenant solicitors

For advice about landlord tenancy agreements, contact our landlord and tenant solicitors in East Sussex. You can contact us at our offices in Battle, Bexhill on Sea, Eastbourne, Hastings or Rye.

Or fill in our online enquiry form and we will be in touch shortly.

How we can help with landlord tenancy agreements

Drafting and approving assured shorthold tenancy agreements

As a landlord, if you want to make a tenancy agreement with a tenant, you need to consider issues such as:

  • How and when the rent will be paid
  • How you will protect the tenant’s deposit, in compliance with tenancy deposit protection regulations
  • The circumstances in which you can withhold all or part of the deposit
  • How the tenancy can be ended
  • The obligations on both your part and on the tenant’s part
  • What outgoings the tenant will be responsible for
  • How minor repairs will be dealt with
  • Whether subletting is allowed
  • The process for the tenant to ask permission to make alterations
  • What you will permit at the property and what is restricted

We draft comprehensive tenancy agreements for landlords and we can work with you to establish what you want to allow and the obligations you want to impose on your tenant. The terms and conditions must be fair and you cannot include anything that could discriminate against a tenant on behalf of a protected characteristic, such as age, gender, pregnancy or disability.

We also advise on and draft other types of agreement, such as shared room tenancy agreements.

If you are a tenant and you would like advice on an agreement or landlord contract that you have been offered to sign, we can go through this on your behalf and draw your attention to any onerous conditions.

Advice on rent deposits and tenancy deposit schemes

As a landlord, if you offer an assured shorthold tenancy, you are required to place the tenant’s deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP) within 30 days of receipt. This must be registered with:

  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS);
  • Deposit Protection Service (DPS); or
  • MyDeposits

We can advise you on how to handle deposits and when you will be able to withhold some or all of the deposit.

Advice on tenancy law and tenancy disputes

Landlord and tenant regulations are a complex area of law and disagreements can escalate rapidly if they are not handled promptly. We can advise you of your rights under landlord contracts for tenants, including assured shorthold tenancy agreements and shared room tenancy agreements, and discuss ways in which a dispute can be resolved.

We will contact your landlord or tenant and, wherever possible, negotiate a solution.

Taking legal action early on can prevent the situation from deteriorating and give you the best chance of continuing in a professional relationship as landlord and tenant.

For further information on our services in this area, see our landlord and tenant dispute solicitors page.

Frequently asked questions about tenancy agreements

What is a residential tenancy agreement?

A residential tenancy agreement is a letting agreement made between a landlord and tenant. An assured shorthold tenancy agreement is the usual form of letting agreement used by landlords to let property for a set period. It will impose terms and conditions on the tenant, including the requirement to pay a fixed amount of rent for the whole of the rental period.

It should not be confused with a tenancy in common agreement which relates to joint property ownership. There are also other types of residential tenancy agreements, including an excluded tenancy or licence, which is often used for lodgers who live with their landlord.

I don’t have a tenancy agreement – what are my rights?

Even if you do not have a tenancy agreement as a tenant, you will still have certain rights. Your landlord is required to meet the legal safety standards and, as an example, provide running water and heating.

Provided that you comply with your obligations under a verbal tenancy agreement, such as paying the agreed rent on the agreed dates, not subletting and not altering the property without consent, you cannot be evicted on ‘no fault’ grounds.

If they wish to evict you, your landlord will have to establish that you have breached the agreement. Grounds for eviction include non-payment of rent, rent arrears, anti-social behaviour and damaging the property.

How to terminate a tenancy agreement

If the tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy agreement which commenced over six months ago, then a landlord can give tenants notice to quit. This needs to be in writing and the notice period should be at least two months long. Similarly, a tenant can give notice to the landlord if they want to end the agreement.

If six months have not elapsed, a landlord will need valid grounds to end the tenancy agreement, such as rent arrears.

There is a strict process which landlords must comply with when ending a tenancy and it is crucial to follow this or the court may decline to evict a tenant, should the need to ask for a possession order arise.

What to do if a landlord breaches tenancy agreement

If your landlord has breached your tenancy agreement, it is generally recommended that you try and talk to them about the problem initially, to try and resolve matters amicably.

If this is not possible, then you can put the details of what has happened in writing to them and formally ask them to deal with it. If you ask us to help, we can write an official letter requiring them to comply with the terms of the lease.

It is often the case that a landlord will take steps to remedy matters once experienced tenancy agreement solicitors are involved as they will usually wish to avoid legal action. Where necessary, we can negotiate on your behalf to find a solution.

If this is not successful, we can ask the court to make an order requiring the landlord to comply with the terms of the landlord tenancy agreement. You may also be entitled to damages for any loss you have suffered as a result of the breach.

Do I need a solicitor for a tenancy agreement?

Landlords are strongly advised to use a robust tenancy agreement drafted by expert landlord and tenant solicitors. If you ever need to rely on your tenancy agreement in court, you need to be able to show that it is legally sound, fair and unambiguous.

It is also the case that a clearly-worded tenancy agreement will go a long way to avoiding disputes. It will be harder for a tenant to object if the terms and conditions precisely set out what is expected of them.

How much should a tenancy agreement cost?

Having a professional tenancy agreement drafted is not expensive. We will be happy to provide you with a quote. Our landlord and tenant lawyers offer excellent value for money and our rates are competitive.

We also offer a tenancy agreement review and advice on terms and conditions for a very reasonable sum.

Get in touch with our friendly, experienced family law solicitors

For advice and representation in dealing with tenancy agreements, contact our landlord and tenant solicitors in East Sussex. You can contact us at our offices in Battle, Bexhill on Sea, Eastbourne, Hastings or Rye.

Or fill in our online enquiry form and we will be in touch shortly.


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