Tenancy Agreements – Agents v Landlords?

Tenancy Agreements – Agents v Landlords?

15:29 PM, 5th October 2021, About 2 months 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



by DSR

10:38 AM, 8th October 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 07/10/2021 - 12:04
Not limiting at all. (I'm guessing not popular with tenants rather than LL's!)
You can have rent reviews included yet there is no obligation to increase the rent.
I sometimes send out a letter saying one is not required.... that inevitably keeps the tenant happy!

by David

11:23 AM, 8th October 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 08/10/2021 - 00:08
Now I've looked I can see it was actually the RLA not the NRLA agreement - Clause 16 from the 2019 template says:
"We may increase the rent by serving a rent review notice on you. The rent may not increase by
more than a maximum of ... % through any single rent review.
Any rent review notice we serve on you must be in writing. It must provide you with at least one
calendar month in notice prior to the date of the rent increase taking effect. The notice must state the
percentage by which the rent will increase, the new rental amount and the date on which the new rent
is payable from. It may be served no earlier than 90 days before the rent increase will take effect."

by David

11:27 AM, 8th October 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 08/10/2021 - 10:38
Looking at the clause I quoted above, I can see circumstances where the landlord would wish to raise the rent by a higher amount than the percentage specified and under simpler conditions. I usually go for an informal arrangement and have never had to use a s13 notice, but having a rent review clause makes that much more difficult.

by Chris @ Possession Friend

11:36 AM, 8th October 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 08/10/2021 - 11:23
I believe the RLA clause was restrictive, unnecessarily. The previous NLA AST just said Landlord Could increase the rent ( didn't mention by how much - and that is my advice and what I put in my own tenancy agreementnts )
The NRLA tenancy, more recently, totally omits rent, which is a huge mistake.
Tactically, if you Want to 'price' a tenant out, perhaps due to difficulties with other grounds, then being able to set a rent that Cannot be appealed ( Contour Homes Ltd v Rowen 2007 ) can be useful.

by David

17:56 PM, 8th October 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 08/10/2021 - 11:36
Well I see the appeal in a process that can't be referred to the FTT, and the Contour case is interesting, although I notice that the tenancy agreement in this case did limit the amount by which the rent could be increased. I'm wondering whether a clause allowing an unlimited rent increase could be challenged as an unfair contract term? Any thoughts?

by Suresh Parikh

13:54 PM, 9th October 2021, About 2 months ago

I have read the comments (including Tessa's) so far with interest.
My model may not suit everybody.
I take the view that an agreement has to be specific to that property (such as ornamental Victorian fire places and surround tiles) as well as the general law.
My Application Form is comprehensive: smoker, pets, bicycle, car etc.
Affordability and suitability is judged on the basis of the form, which gives my DPS and ICO numbers and states briefly the GDPR policy.
The tenant consents to the service of documents in pdf by e-mail.
The form is meant to contain true representations by the Applicant (the future Tenant) leading to the Tenancy Agreement, if selected by me.
I meet them personally, and try to establish mutual respect. If I see that is not possible, then I do not let to them.
I do not include any unfair term in my Agreement.
I explain the clauses to them, if they are too legalese.
I have a separate schedule to the Agreement: Welcome to Modern Living in a Flat with modern appliances.
I detail what is expected of the Tenant, and what is my responsibility.
I show them where the fuse box is, and they must deal with any tripping, which is good because it shows the wiring is good, and it prevents a fire. I supply plenty of power sockets,
Despite several power sockets, I had a tenant who would use the kettle and the toaster on one socket and was surprised when the fuse tripped. I sent him a chart on wattage used by each appliance, and I am going to include it i my next revision of the Schedule.
My Agreement provides no rent increase for two years, and then a percentage increase.
I do not normally increase any rent, taking the view after tax I am hardly going to benefit.

by Mike

14:19 PM, 9th October 2021, About 2 months ago

GDP is just a farce, it does absolutely nothing except hinders crime investigations, so crime goes up, it is a racket, a mean blackmail if you do not pay them to register they will issue you a big fine, its a load of wallop, it creates extra paperwork and is completely pointless, in many instances it actually harms people, as you can find their details on the public register, their phone numbers and their addresses from an armchair. I will speak where I have to speak.

by Suresh Parikh

14:39 PM, 9th October 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 09/10/2021 - 14:19
Thank you, Mike.
You cannot argue with the law.
You can try to get the law changed.
Good luck.

by Helen

0:49 AM, 10th October 2021, About 2 months ago

Going back to the bike issue, I had a similar problem when a new tenant moved in to a 2nd floor flat. There is a locked side alley which previous tenants have stored bikes in over several years, with no thefts. When the GF resident told me that he was carrying a bike upstairs, and staining the corridor walls,I asked him to park his bike in the side alley but he refused. I said he could change the padlock on the gate to a stronger one and could install some kind of rack in there to chain his bike to. He got very angry. He asked me to put plastic sheeting up the hallway!
I was incredulous that an adult would behave in this way and would also want to keep a bike in his living room.
After much anxiety and hassle it was resolved when he bought a special cover for the bike which prevents the wheels from damaging the walls. I warned him that any damage to the hallway, by dropping the bike would be deducted from his deposit.
When I went to the flat one day and he was out I found the bike right outside his front door, blocking his exit if there was a fire. As I am a Freeholder I was concerned about this and warned him that it was illegal. I can't go there every day to check on it and it is only his flat door that he is blocking. I have warned him about it in writing.
I will put something in the next tenancy agreement for that flat. It is 3 minutes to the tube station which makes it even more galling.

by Oliver Black

19:14 PM, 10th October 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 10/10/2021 - 00:49
That tenant doesn't sound very considerate, he should have taken much more care with the walls.

But, most bike/home insurance would not cover theft from the locked side alley, so I can see why he was unwilling to store it there.

And poor fire safety is, as you put, both illegal and stupid.

That said, none of this requires attempting to ban bikes in the TA, as damage and fire safety is already covered by your TA, and you don't raise any other issues. (And I'm pretty sure a clause banning bikes would not hold up in court, not a lawyer).

(One last point, many people would rather cycle than take the tube, especially in rush hour, it is much nicer).

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