According to recent findings vast amounts of private landlords in the UK have no formal tenancy agreement with their tenants and those who do, may be asking tenants to sign a non-legally compliant contract!
This is a recurring scenario a lot of landlords find themselves in as they first decide to enlist the assistance of a letting agent. When this tenancy ends and renewal negotiations start to take place or new tenants come into the picture the landlord then decides to agree a direct rental with the existing or new tenants. However, the fundamental mistake is that the landlord seems to assume the previous tenancy agreement provided by the agent, can be used as a template for the new direct rental. This is not the case.
Due to ever-changing legislation and applicability to the current market, adapting a contract may not be compliant. In order to avoid disputes landlords must seek professional legal advice before implementing.
A common misconception is that many landlords believe they can put anything they want in their tenancy agreements and as long as it has been signed by the tenant it becomes law. This is far from the truth as both landlords and tenants are protected by statutory rights which supersede any clause in a tenancy agreement.
As a tenant, you have the right to:
- live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair
- have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends – and in some circumstances have it protected
- challenge excessively high charges
- know who your landlord is
- live in the property undisturbed
- see an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
- be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent
- have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than 3 years