A survey conducted by Direct line for business has recently found that 1 in 10 landlords do not currently have a tenancy agreement with their tenants for their properties. Furthermore, some of those who do have a tenancy agreement in place may be asking tenants to sign a contract which is not legally compliant.
It was found that 58% of private landlords who had a tenancy agreement in place had not had these checked by a legal professional. 38% of these were still using a contract which was constructed by an agent who they no longer used or had copied a contract which was composed by another landlord. The other 20% admitted to copying a template contract they found online and making amendments.
The study went on to find that some landlords would let through an agent when they first start out before leaving the agents when renewing the lease while still using the contract which had been created for the purpose of the agency.
This lack of landlords using agreements which were not professionally reviewed may explain why 1 in 8 landlords had reported that they had experienced on or more tenancy disputes within the last 2 years. The majority of these disputes were said to have arisen from problems in the tenants’ rental contract.
More concerning evidence which was uncovered by the study found that 9% of landlords had failed to inform their tenants that they did not hold their deposit. Deposits are in fact held by a government backed deposit protection scheme which was set up in 2007 and reviewed in 2012 which is in place to protect tenants and ensure they receive a fair share of their deposit upon departing the property.
Advice from Nick Brenton, Head of Direct Line for Business, is as follows: “Tenants and landlords need a contract in place to protect both their interests. Contracts, deposit and deposit protection all help to make clear what is expected from each party when renting a property, and which can help minimise disputes where possible. If an old contract is adapted it may not comply with new legislation or be relevant for the current market. Given the volume of disputes arising from tenancy agreements it’s important to get the contract seen by a legal professional before it’s signed.”
By using a professional letting agency, such as ourselves, you can be assured that your letting agreement is relevant and will help to ensure that you receive fewer disputes from your tenants.
Source: TheNegotiator, May 2016