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Tenancy Agreements

What rights does your tenancy agreement give you? What are your obligations under your tenancy agreement? Can your landlord evict you early?

What rights does your tenancy agreement give you? What are your obligations under your tenancy agreement? Can your landlord evict you early?

Almost any residential tenancy that began after 15 January 1989 will be an assured tenancy while one granted after 28 February 1997 will be an assured shorthold tenancy (“AST”).  This is the case even if there is no written tenancy agreement. You should always make sure that your tenancy agreement is in writing and read it carefully before signing.

An AST has fewer rights to remain in occupation after the term of the tenancy has come to an end but in most other respects it is the same as an assured tenancy.

If you can, choose a landlord who is part of an accreditation scheme, such as the National Landlords Association. Your local authority will be able to advice you about schemes operating in your area.

Almost any residential tenancy that began after 15 January 1989 will be an assured tenancy while one granted after 28 February 1997 will be an assured shorthold tenancy (“AST”).  This is the case even if there is no written tenancy agreement. You should always make sure that your tenancy agreement is in writing and read it carefully before signing.

An AST has fewer rights to remain in occupation after the term of the tenancy has come to an end but in most other respects it is the same as an assured tenancy.

If you can, choose a landlord who is part of an accreditation scheme, such as the National Landlords Association. Your local authority will be able to advice you about schemes operating in your area.

Our dedicated team of solicitors, based in Witney, Oxfordshire, would be happy to answer your questions.

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Your Rights as a Tenant:

You are entitled to insist that your Landlord complies with his obligations to you under the law. These include:

Gas Safety Certificates – your Landlord must provide a gas safety certificate to you at the beginning of, and then each year of, your tenancy. This means that your Landlord should arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer.

Energy Performance Certificate – this should be provided to you before you sign your tenancy agreement.

Deposit Protection – your Landlord must protect your deposit in a Government approved scheme. You should ask your Landlord for copies of the official documentation in relation to the scheme. If your Landlord does not protect your deposit you may be entitled to compensation. In addition, at the end of your tenancy you should be present when the property is inspected to cover damages and cleaning costs. If you do not agree with proposed deductions then you should contact the relevant deposit protection scheme.

Smoke Alarms / Carbon Monoxide Detectors – your Landlord must install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors if you have solid fuel appliances. You should regularly test these yourselves.

Insurance – your Landlord must insure the building to cover the costs of damage from flood or fire and keep the property in repair. If the property falls into an unsafe condition and your landlord will not repair it then you should contact your local authority.

Notice to Enter – your Landlord must give you at least 24 hours’ notice before coming to the property. In addition they must have a valid reason for coming to see you e.g. maintenance work or an inspection.

Repairs – if your tenancy is for a total term of less than 7 years, then your Landlord must repair:

  • the property’s structure and exterior including drains, gutters and external pipes
  • basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation
  • electrical wiring
  • any damage they cause by attempting repairs

and, depending on the terms of the tenancy agreement, your Landlord may have to repair any common areas.

Your Obligations as Tenant:

Your rights as a tenant assume that you will comply with  your own obligations under the tenancy agreement. You must:

  • Pay the rent on time! If you don’t it will almost certainly be a term of your tenancy agreement that the Landlord can end your tenancy agreement which means that you could lose your home.
  • Look after the property. Keep it clean and generally maintained. If specific repairs are needed then you should speak to your landlord.
  • Remove all of your possessions from the property at the end of your term. The Landlord can usually dispose of anything left in the property after 14 days.

Can I stay once my fixed term has expired?

If your landlord has not given you notice that they want you to leave, then you have the following options once your fixed term expires:

  1. You can agree a new fixed term tenancy with your Landlord.
  1. You can let the tenancy expire automatically but continue to live in the property. If this happens you will be on a ‘rolling periodic tenancy’. This means all of the terms of the tenancy continue to apply past expiry, except for the fixed term.

Can I stay once my fixed term has expired?

If your landlord has not given you notice that they want you to leave, then you have the following options once your fixed term expires:

  1. You can agree a new fixed term tenancy with your Landlord.
  1. You can let the tenancy expire automatically but continue to live in the property. If this happens you will be on a ‘rolling periodic tenancy’. This means all of the terms of the tenancy continue to apply past expiry, except for the fixed term.
For more information on Tenancy Agreements...

Please do not hesitate to contact an Everyman Legal Solicitor on 0845 868 0960 for a FREE discussion or email geoffrey.cotterill@everymanlegal.com

Can my Landlord kick me out?

Your Landlord must give you proper notice if they want you to leave. If your tenancy is an AST, then normally your Landlord will have to give at least 2 month’s notice which should expire on or after the end of your fixed term. A landlord can only end an assured tenancy if they prove certain statutory grounds for possession and obtain a court order.

If the Landlord wants to end the tenancy agreement early because you have not complied with your duties under the agreement, they must still prove certain statutory grounds for possession and obtain a court order. If your Landlord is trying to force you out without giving you the proper notice written notice, or without a court order, then you should contact the police as this would constitute an illegal eviction. You should also contact a solicitor in order that you can take legal advice.

For more information on Tenancy Agreements...

Please do not hesitate to contact an Everyman Legal Solicitor on 01993 893620 for a free discussion or email geoffrey.cotterill@everymanlegal.com

The Everyman Legal team acted promptly and with us in mind. We were treated as an important client even though the services for the transaction were fairly routine. They always went the extra mile to keep the process moving efficiently.