Tenancy Agreements – Agents v Landlords?

Tenancy Agreements – Agents v Landlords?

15:29 PM, 5th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago 36

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For the majority of my properties I use my own Tenancy Agreement (TA), established over time with updates as and when (mostly when issues have occurred with a previous tenant and to stop the potential for similar things happening again). I ensure no prohibited fees are listed etc and use many of the standard clauses.

I have though used an agent for a recent property, using her TA. I asked to see what he uses/ draft, and was amazed to see that although the basics were in, there were a few things I thought were missing or what I thought was not enough detail on for example smoking not permitted but also applicable to e-cigarettes when for example a deposit is retained through smoke smells.

He explained to be certified he has to send through his TA for vetting to make sure it complies as he is regulated and a member of Trading Standard Approved code, The Property Ombudsman and Safe Agent. He said that it was not possible that he used mine in place of his own, despite my only using him as a tenant find only service.

I am assuming there is no legislation as such that applies to what can or cannot be in a private Landlord TA, though of course it stands to reason it has to be fair to both parties – LL and tenant. Just concerned that by using a registered agent I may be leaving myself open for future possible issues as after the Agent signs the tenant up the contract is between me and the tenant thereafter.

I’d be interested on others perspectives on this.

Many thanks

DSR



Comments

by Chris @ Possession Friend

9:53 AM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

@ DSR, - don't 'start ' me on Tenancy agreements 😉
I see many during our possession process that would make your toes curl.
Even omissions in the NRLA's ( although better than many I've seen )

by Tim

10:00 AM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Has anyone got the ‘ideal’ TA we can use or suggested amendments to the NRLA one we currently use?

by Tessa Shepperson

10:11 AM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

There is no specific law about what can or can be included in a TA but many things will be included by default whether mentioned or not, such as the disrepair implied terms (LTA1985s11). Also, some clauses may be void and unenforceable under the Unfair Terms rules (now part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015) if not drafted properly.

In fact tenancy agreements can be highly misleading documents as I discussed in this blog post from a few years ago (but still valid) https://landlordlawblog.co.uk/2012/06/20/why-your-tenancy-agreement-is-misleading-the-secret-clauses-that-you-dont-know-about/

Our Landlord Law tenancy agreements are fairly comprehensive and contain many clauses that were suggested by our landlords. They are also regularly updated. Find out more here: https://landlordlaw.co.uk/landlord-law-tenancy-agreement-service/

by Chris @ Possession Friend

11:01 AM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Tessa Shepperson at 06/10/2021 - 10:11Happy to ' rate ' your Tenancy agreement against the NRLA's ( or any ) and publish my opinion on here Tessa ?
Does yours include vital elements missing from NRLA's ?

by Jireh Homes

11:35 AM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Perhaps the lesson here is to vet the Agent TA before engaging for tenant find service, and check if willing to use landlord's version if found wanting.

by Chris @ Possession Friend

11:46 AM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jireh Homes at 06/10/2021 - 11:35
Its very much a problem of, ' you don't know what you don't know '
Many Landlords won't know or recognise things that are missing.
I have sometimes been happy to accept a Letting Agents tenancy agreement ( which yes, I do ask to see - vet ) and other times I've asked them to use my own.

by Mike

12:09 PM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

In 20 years I have let a First Floor Flat, never had a need to mention that no adult bicycles can be brought in, as there just isn't any room to park them anywhere, not even in the front garden as it has two sets of dust bins and two sets of recycle bins, leaves hardly any space to leave a bike parked even outside locked up.
So recently moved in a new tenant, whose growing teenage son has now purchased an adult frame bicycle, that he climbs up a flight of stairs and has to then turn it around sharp to be able to park it in the living room!
On my recent visited I noticed that bike parked in the living room, I asked how much they paid for it, oh its only £100, so I asked politely that sorry a bike is not allowed to be parked in the flat anywhere, other than outside at your risk, so please get it removed as soon as you can.
Can you imagine the damage it can cause when its pedals or other parts strike door corners and also if it slips from his hands whilst on the stairs it can roll back and strike the front door with some force that could cost £1000 to replace or strikes the incoming water mains pipe and cause untold damage through burst pipe, the common hallway downstairs is only just wide enough the width of a door so it cannot be left there as ground floor tenants will not permit it there either. So a new clause will be added to my TA.
Its natural evolution!

by Oliver Black

18:14 PM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 06/10/2021 - 12:09
Has it actually caused any damage, or are you just hypothesising?

Your tenancy agreement already holds tenants responsible for damage caused presumably?

So all you'd be banning is "storing a bike without causing any damage", which appears to be a non-issue?

What if they removed both wheels at the door and stored the parts separately in the flat? What if they kept a spare set of wheels on pedals in the flat? Would these both be against your TA?

Regardless of whether you think their decision is sensible or not, you shouldn't be overbearing in how they use the flat. A tenant would see this and likely decide to not have such a friendly working relationship, which increases your costs.

Also, a court might even strike such a clause out for interfering with their right to enjoy their home.

by David

18:39 PM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

The NRLA model TA doesn't include anything about vaping and I always have to add it. A few iterations ago I had to make other more significant additions, but those seem to have been resolved. The other problem with the current model is that its unclear on the issue of whether one tenant can determine the tenancy in the periodic phase. (Its a contractual periodic type so this must be specified).

by Chris @ Possession Friend

18:43 PM, 6th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 06/10/2021 - 18:39One of my biggest concerns with NRLA is absence of rent Increase clause, meaning Tenant could appeal any increase with FTT.

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