Tenant Agreement

What is a Tenant Agreement?

The tenant agreement is the contract signed between the landlord and you. This contract may be in writing or be made orally. The tenancy agreement accords certain rights to the landlord and yourself. The agreement made between you and the landlord should not go against the law and each party should exercise their rights and duties as provided by the law. The agreement can give you and the landlord more but not less than your statutory rights. In case the agreement gives you or the landlord less than your statutory rights, then it becomes un-enforceable.

A tenant agreement can be constituted of:-

  • Express terms. These are terms that include written information in tenancy agreement, or rent book, and/or what you and the landlord have agreed on orally
  • Implied terms. These are the rights provided by the law or arrangements founded on good practice and custom.

Express terms

A written tenant agreement should have the following details:

  • Details on whether there is provision for other people to utilize the property, and in case they do, specify the rooms
  • The payable rent amount, frequency and due dates for payment and when the rent can be raised. In addition, it could include other payments such as fuel or council tax
  • The date when the tenancy begins
  • The tenancy duration and whether it expires at a specific date
  • The notice length required by you and your landlord prior to termination of the tenancy. Keep in mind that there are existing statutory rules with regard to length of notice which is dependent on the tenancy type and reason for its termination dates.
  • Whether your landlord is required to provide any services such as laundry, meals, or common parts maintenance, and whether these services are charged or free.
  • Your name and that of your landlord along with the property address being let

The agreement can also include your landlord’s obligations details with regard to repairing the property. Your landlord’s property repair obligations are dependent on the tenancy type.

Implied Terms

There are obligations that you and the landlord need to fulfill and which may not appear in the tenancy agreement form but are provided for by the law. These obligations are what are referred to as implied terms. The implied terms are a part of the contract although they are not agreed on specifically between you and the landlord.  Some commonly implied terms include:-

  • You are obligated to provide access to the premises in the event that repair work needs to be done.
  • It is your right to live in peace in the rented premises with no interference from your landlord.
  • Your landlord is obligated to do basic repairs such as keeping the sanitation, gas and water installations in good working condition.
  • You are obligated to use the premises in a manner fitting to a tenant for example, not causing damage as well as proper use of fittings and fixtures.

Tenant Responsibilities

What are the Key Tenant Responsibilities?

Entering into landlord-tenant agreement is a deal that requires both parties to play their role so as to make the relationship mutual. It is a give and take scenario because each party needs to focus on its responsibilities. Landlords need to provide an enabling environment for a sound and smooth rental business without troubles. Whenever there are issues that need to be addressed by the landlord, they should ensure the problems are solved pretty fast to create comfort, peace of mind, and protect the rights of tenants. On the flip side, those occupying the premises should understand the tenant responsibilities and abide by them throughout the period they will be staying in the building. Here are a few responsibilities that tenants need to take seriously.

 Pay rent on time

The residential property rental services are a business like any other. The tenant is the customer and the landlord is the business owner. Payment of rent is one issue that causes many tenant-landlord relationships to fade away.

When tenants pay their rent in time, they avoid having to brush shoulders with the property managers. They also do away with cases of evictions. Paying rent on time also helps provide easy time for the landlord because they don’t have to chase after tenant or seek for eviction. It also averts issues of having to deal with debtors who can be harassing and difficult to handle.

A tenant needs to take care of a house he or she occupies. Whether a tenant has an oral or written tenancy, they need to be aware of how they should conduct themselves and protect the building by knowing tenant responsibilities. For example, they need to do some minor repairs such as fixing blown out bulbs and fuses.

The home needs to be kept reasonably clean because it is healthy for them. They should not cause damage to the house or invite visitors who might cause damage. Tenants should use the fittings and fixtures properly for example, ensuring the toilets and sinks do not clog.

The sinks should be used properly by not pouring oil and solids into the drains. Being a responsible tenant gives a good picture and makes it easy to seek for you the next time you seek another tenancy from a different landlord.

Report major defects to landlords

A landlord won’t know when there is a problem that requires major repairs unless you have told them. There are repairs that you cannot do by yourself unless you have consulted with the landlord. For example, when the structures in the home such as roofs, walls, drains, foundations, external piping, guttering, and windows are defective, the property manager should be informed in time.

Similarly, when toilets, baths, sinks, basins, and basements have issues, a landlord should be in the picture of what is happening. Things like gas pipes and water pipes or electrical wiring and water tankers should only be repaired by the landlords. When you know the tenant responsibilities, you aware of what you should or shouldn’t do.

Tenant Application Form

Demystifying The Tenant Application Form

In the real estate business, selecting the right tenant is a very crucial step that needs to be taken with much caution. Landlords who master the skill of tenant screening become successful in the rental business. Unfortunately, the reverse is true. The number one reason for majority of landlords quitting the industry is bad tenants. Landlord status is risky. Selecting a tenant that is bad and who causes damage to your unit can leave you with a significant repairs and clean-up bill. If you have other paying tenants, he may scare them off and label you as inattentive or give you the slumlord designation.

Unfortunately, there is no insurance protecting landlords. When a problematic tenant results in you incurring a massive expense it is highly unlikely to meet the insurance policy strict criteria for paying up a claim.

To minimize the probability of allowing a bad tenant into your property, you will need to utilize a comprehensive tenant application form. Make it very clear to the prospective tenant that all sections of the application form need to be filled out with correct information. Every adult that will be living with the tenant will need to fill a separate form too. Once the prospective tenant signs the form, he/she gives consent for you or an agent to carry out background checks. These checks are a legal requirement. A copy of the form signed by the tenant and yourself should be kept by you as a record.

A tenant application form is the most important and crucial document next to the lease agreement. The form permanently records the tenant’s particulars and should indicate the applicant’s job; supervisor; income; current address; friends, referees, and landlord reference; government identification; extended family and next of kin; and any additional relevant details.

Renters are highly unlikely to put information in the application form that would hinder their chances of approval. In addition to carrying out a thorough details follow-up indicated in the tenant application form, follow your gut instincts. If your gut tells you that the details in the form are too good to be true, the probability is that they are. In the event that the prospective tenant gives falsified information to secure tenancy, the application form will act as a crucial piece of evidence when you start possession proceedings as provided in the Housing Act 1988 underground 17- Making a false statement.

The application form also confirms the prospective tenant’s comprehension of the property, the tenancy length, the type, expenses and costs, deposit and rent that is required. The form also forms the basis of the process of tenant screening. It should give enough information enabling you to contact the tenant, and his friends or relatives, even in the event that he absconds.