In England and Wales there is not a legal requirement to produce a written tenancy agreement. It is possible to have a spoken arrangement between landlord and tenant.
So as a landlord, which is the best course of action? Westpine Property Lettings of Bolton believe that by not having a written agreement, the disadvantages are experienced by only the landlord and not the tenant. Not having the agreement in writing does not affect the rights of the tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy.
It is a criminal offence for a landlord to not provide a tenant with a written summary of the main arrangement terms both within 6 months of the tenancy start date, or if the tenant requests the information. The logic of this argument would be such that if this is to be provided anyway, it is not much more intensive to have produced the agreement in writing in the first place.
As part of its services in the Bolton and North West region, Westpine Property Lettings produce a thorough written tenancy agreement as part of its full management, rent collection and its tenant find processes. This is a written agreement which sets out the obligations of both the landlord and the tenant in order to protect both parties. This is designed to stop the potential for any disagreements and disputes and to ensure that terms are clear for all parties to understand.
A landlord should be aware that in order to use the accelerated possession procedure to evict a nuisance tenant, a landlord must have previously issued a written tenancy agreement. By deciding not to issue the tenancy agreement in writing, a landlord risks a problematic tenant remaining in the property for longer than necessary and reducing the potential rental income.
A landlord should also consider using a tenancy agreement as once a tenancy has begun, a tenant cannot be forced to sign a contract whether it keeps the same oral terms or looks to vary the conditions. In order to use the statutory deposit schemes, a landlord must be able to provide a copy of the written tenancy agreement. Deductions cannot be taken from a tenancy deposit without reference to a clause in the written agreement. As such a landlord is at risk to cover damage to his property caused by the tenant.
The law certainly favours the tenant and whilst Westpine Property Lettings recognise the great strides since the 1980’s in protecting the position of the tenant, there are situations where landlords need to consider certain clauses and restrictions which can only be proven by a written agreement in order to ensure property protection.
Westpine Property Lettings of Bolton believe that the onus with regard to the written tenancy agreement should fall on that of the letting agent. A reputable letting agent will include the cost of their standard written tenancy agreement in the cost of their landlord services and we believe it is vital for landlords to consider use a regulated an ARLA licensed agent who will ensure thorough protection. In summary, a written tenancy agreement only holds fear to problematic tenants, landlords and good tenants should enjoy the written clarity and peace of mind of their obligations.