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What should go into a tenancy agreement?

You’ve done the leg work, scoured the internet for possible candidates and found your perfect rental property. Your application was successful, now you just need to fill out your tenancy agreement.

A good tenancy agreement should set out what’s expected of both parties and what should happen in certain situations. The agreement can also form the legal basis for how to start, maintain and end the tenancy, for both you and your landlord.

Understanding what should be in a tenancy agreement, and what you should do before you sign can seem a little daunting. We’ve compiled a list of our top tips and things you should look out for when signing a new tenancy agreement.

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Before signing the tenancy agreement, you should:

Make sure you have visited the property and are certain you want to move in.

Ensure your deposit is protected by a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.

Feel confident that you can afford the rent and any bills that this doesn’t cover.

Check you understand all instructions for electrical items, heating etc. Make sure you see an up to date, valid gas safety certificate.

Have a complete inventory which is agreed between you and your landlord, and that all items listed are in the property.

It’s also worth checking the state of these items and photographing anything already showing signs of damage or wear so you have evidence in case any issues arise.

Make sure you have all keys for doors and windows.

Basic Tenancy Agreement:

The following should all be included in any tenancy agreement.

  • Full names of the landlord(s) and tenant(s);
  • Full address of the property;
  • Deposit amount and how it is protected;
  • How much the rent is and how it should be paid;
  • Information on how and when the rent will be reviewed;
  • Address of the landlord(s) or agent who will be looking after the property;
  • Start and end date of the tenancy.

Additional items which may be in your tenancy agreement:

Depending on your circumstances, certain additional clauses may also be added into your tenancy agreement.

  • The bills the tenant is responsible for;
  • How and when the deposit may be fully or partly withheld;
  • If the tenancy can be ended early and how this can be done;
  • Who is responsible for repairs;
  • Whether pets are permitted and the rules around this;
  • Whether smoking is permitted;
  • Whether the property can be let to anyone else (sublet) or if lodgers are allowed.

If you have any questions, confusion or concerns about your tenancy agreements, or what you should be looking for before you sign one, talk to us! If you’ve already signed your tenancy agreement and are getting ready to move into your new home, take time to read our guide on preparing to move in.

Next steps: Preparing to move in 

Take a look at our quick guide for preparing to move in