Yes, It is possible to create a tenancy without actually signing a tenancy agreement but who is crazy enough to do that?
Well you would be surprised – Recently I have been contacted twice by landlords who allowed tenants to move into their properties without having a tenancy agreement in place.
One of the landlords I am afraid to say does not want me to mention his case in my blog, apparently he is the butt of his friends jokes over his little issue. I have given him my advice and the rest is now up to him!
The other landlord contacted me when his tenants failed to pay the deposit and rent. He allowed this “lovely” couple to take the keys and move in with the promise of paying the monies owed when they got paid, two days later.
When monies were not forthcoming and the landlord chased, he was told, this “lovely” couple were going to pay their rent in arrears and they knew nothing about any agreement to pay a deposit.
So we now have a frustrated landlord asking “Can they pay their rent in arrears and what about the deposit? ”
Yes, they can, unfortunatley.
Under common law, rent is payable in arrears unless there is a tenancy agreement in place and the agreement states rent is payable in advance.
With regards to the deposit, the landlord has no recourse, where is the proof.
By using a properly drafted tenancy agreement Landlords go a long way to protecting their position. It is unwise to add and remove clauses without legal advice as they can be classed as unfair terms .
For example a clause will normally be unfair if it takes away a right which a tenant would normally have in law.
If you want to prohibit something a tenant would normally be able to do, such as re-decorate the property, your clause must contain wording providing for the tenant to request permission to do whatever they are wanting to do and must state that “the permission will not be unreasonably refused”.
Countless landlords have invalidated their pets clauses by removing this wording on the basis that “no pets allowed in this property under any circumstances”.
A tenant can request permission for something but it does not mean that you have got to agree to it. It may be reasonable to refuse your permissionm, that is your right as a Landlord. But if you deny tenants the chance to request permission – this will invalidate the clause, meaning that there is nothing to stop them keeping whatever pets they like.
Tenancy agreements need to be fair and written in plain English, they can include clauses to protect the landlord’s position. i.e. –
Notifying tenants that you will provide their details to utilities if they default on payment. You should also note down that you may also use tracing agents if they leave owing you money.
Everyone living in the property, including all children are named in the tenancy agreement and there should be a clause saying that no one else is allowed to live in the property.
Remember doing business on spit and a hand shake is no longer good practice 🙁
until next week.
Landlords, would you like a second opinion on a potential Buy-to-Let property or do you have nagging concerns – please feel free to contact us on 01827 425195 or 07531484956.We are here to help you on your property journey.