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					                    Tenancy Agreement Form

The importance of a tenancy agreement

If a buy-to-let property is being let out by a landlord it is important, both for
the landlord and for the tenant, that a tenancy agreement is prepared and
signed before the tenant is given the keys and moves in to the buy-to-let
property. This is because from the tenant's point of view, they need
documentary proof of their tenancy, particularly if they are claiming Housing
Benefit. From the landlords point of view without having a correctly filled out
tenancy agreement means that a landlord will be unable to use the
accelerated possession procedure. Having a tenancy agreement is
important from both parties point of view because it provides a written
record of what has been agreed between the landlord & the tenant
regarding the occupation of the buy-to-let property.

Where to get a tenancy agreement

It is quite easy for a landlord to get hold of a tenancy agreement form to
use. It is possible for instance to download a FREE tenancy agreement. To
find out the websites that provide a free assured shorthold tenancy
agreement a landlord should go to Google and type in free tenancy
agreement in order to find these sites. Annual members of Landlord-Law
can download a variety of different types of tenancy for different situations
from the Landlord-Law site. Printed forms can also be obtained at any good
stationers (such as WH Smith and Staples) - for example those printed by
Law Pack Publishing and Oyez. A landlord should always ensure that when
they obtain a tenancy agreement that it is from a reputable solicitor and it is
up to date. Tenancy agreement forms printed before 2002 may not take into
account property the guidance issued by the Office of Fair Trading on the
Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts 1999.

Once a landlord has downloaded or bought a tenancy agreement, they
should read it just to check that they agree with its contents. Most
purchased tenancy agreements will cover the main points and will include
clauses regarding the tenant's use of the property, termination of the
agreement, and the like.

Altering a tenancy agreement

If though, on reading a tenancy agreement the landlord is unhappy about
parts of it, the landlord should be very careful indeed about altering the
wording in any way. For example a clause prohibiting pets might say
something like:

"Not allow or keep any pet or any kind of animal at the buy-to-let property
without   the   landlord's   prior   consent   (which   will   not   be   withheld

On reading this, a landlord might think "there are no circumstances under
which they will allow their tenants to keep pets." They therefore will be
tempted to delete the reference to about obtaining the landlords consent.
However, that qualification is there for a very important purpose - it is there
so the clause complies with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts
Regulations 1999 and the Office of Free Trade guidance. If a landlord
removes it they may well be making the clause void. In which case they will
effectively have no clause forbidding pets at all!
Some alterations to a tenancy agreement will be fairly straightforward. For
example if a landlord wants to delete a clause forbidding pets because you
have agreed that the tenants can keep pets, then a landlord needs to cross
the relevant clause out. If a landlord does make any changes, it is a good
idea for the landlord and the tenant to initial any alterations at the time of
signing, just to confirm that the alteration was agreed to by both the
landlord and the tenant and was not something that was altered afterwards
without the other parties consent.

For most alterations, even some that seem straightforward, it is best to get a
landlord's proposals checked or re-drafted by a solicitor who knows and
understands this type of work. It is very easy for a landlord who does not
know what they are doing to invalidate a clause by using inappropriate

Once a landlord is happy with the tenancy agreement, they need to ensure
that both the landlord and tenant sign and date it to ensure that the
tenancy agreement has been correctly validated.

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