Tenancy Agreements - what are they?

All landlords or letting agents, must provide a Tenancy Agreement when you agree to rent a home from them. A Tenancy Agreement is an agreement  between landlord and tenant where, in return for rent, you can live in their property as your home.

The majority of agreements are assured shorthold which can be given for any timescale. However,  most landlords prefer a minimum of six months, although some landlords can agree to longer terms. Your landlord or letting agent will give you a copy of the Agreement and retain one for themselves.

Read the Tenancy Agreement through carefully before signing it.

It is a legal document and legally binding and you are agreeing to abide by the terms  written in it. Any changes to the Agreement should be decided between yourself and the landlord and written into the document before signing it.  

Ask questions and make sure you understand what you are signing.

Agreements should contain information such as:

  • the name of the landlord
  • where they or their agent can be contacted
  • how much the rent is and when it is to be paid (this is usually monthly)
  • when the tenancy begins and how long it is for
  • whether the property is furnished or unfurnished
  • any rules regarding such things as whether pets are allowed or not, who is responsible for decorating etc.
  • details of the deposit scheme where your deposit or bond is protected

Once the fixed period of the tenancy has expired, your tenancy will then become a "periodic tenancy" whereby you have the right to continue to live in the property  and all the terms and conditions of your original agreement still stand. Alternatively, your landlord may grant you a further tenancy on a fixed-term basis. If you  wish to leave the property you should generally give the landlord four week's notice although the exact timescale depends on whether your tenancy is a fixed term or periodic tenancy.

If the landlord wishes you to leave he must give you at least two months notice that he requires possession. He can give you notice during the fixed  term but the notice period cannot end before the end of the fixed term, provided you do not break the rules of the Tenancy Agreement.

If you receive any notice from your landlord you should contact the Housing Solutions Team as soon as possible.