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 Suresh Parikh

20:10 PM, 10th October 2021, About 7 days ago

Reply to the comment left by at 10/10/2021 - 00:49
The central government's and the Mayor of London's policy is to encourage cycling.
You are a freeholder, and presumably you own the side alley.
You are right about the communal parts should not be cluttered up (Health & Safety).
London Boroughs now insist upon cycle stands or similar when applying for planning permission (this does not apply to you, but is the current view on cycling and spaces to be provided for their storage).
You have to decide whether you want an attractive flat (for the future) and a contented current tenant.
Why not put in a decent cycle stand in the alley, and perhaps share the cost with the GF flat, who should also have the freedom to use it?

by Suresh Parikh

13:34 PM, 11th October 2021, About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by at 10/10/2021 - 00:49
The central government's and the Mayor of London's policy is to encourage cycling.
You are a freeholder, and presumably you own the side alley.
You are right about the communal parts should not be cluttered up (Health & Safety).
London Boroughs now insist upon cycle stands or similar when applying for planning permission (this does not apply to you, but is the current view on cycling and spaces to be provided for their storage).
You have to decide whether you want an attractive flat (for the future) and a contented current tenant.
Why not put in a decent cycle stand in the alley, and perhaps share the cost with the GF flat, who should also have the freedom to use it?

by Mike

15:19 PM, 11th October 2021, About 6 days ago

My tenant can buy a folding bike or a bike with smaller wheels but taller frame to carry it up more easily without damaging my novel post or rub its tyres when turning around and then having to park against a leather sofa.
This is no different to authorities prohibiting owners from owning bigger vehicles and parking in residential streets, despite the fact commercial vehicles pay more road tax.
A court cannot over rule this clause, if a landlord does not allow a tenant to bring a big bike into a living room, since it is not a bike shed. That is the bottom line its nothing to do with tenants right to enjoy the premises, imagine a first floor flat not having a garden access and tenants trying to do a barbeque from one of the rooms, that would be idiotic.

by Oliver Black

15:35 PM, 11th October 2021, About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 11/10/2021 - 15:19The only issues you raise with the bike are damage and fire safety, both of which are ALREADY covered by your tenancy agreement.
The only difference your new clause would add is restricting a tenant from safely and carefully carrying their bike up some stairs without causing damage or being a fire risk. (Which, to clarify, from your description your tenant is NOT doing, they are causing damage and sometimes a fire risk, both of which you should deal with using the robust framework of your existing TA).
The example you bring up about BBQs is only not ok because it would be a fire risk, you would have no objections to them cooking BBQ food in their kitchen? This is a much better analogy, you trying to police which bikes tenants can take to the flat (and ergo insure, and ergo own without significant risk), would be equivalent to deciding what kind of food they could cook.

You are also left with the problem of what about if they take the wheels off and carry it up separately to the frame, is that against your TA?

In the event you try to evict a tenant for breaching such a clause a court will likely toss out your eviction proceedings as the clause is against relevant AST legislation around rights to the peaceful enjoyment of ones home.

by Mike

18:01 PM, 11th October 2021, About 6 days ago

Safety is the prime issue with carrying out BBQ from the kitchen is pretty dangerous not only from the fire point of view, but also from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and safety is also the concern with carrying up and bringing down an 18Kg bike, and the strong possibility of it causing damage to walls and novel post, a smaller bike or an adult bike with smaller wheels can reduce the risk substantially, any ways my tenant has agreed to not take it into the living room and now ties to the handrail along the flight of stairs and has protected the wall with a length of cardboard, matter resolved, the risk of them getting caught on its pedal sticking out and tripping over is theirs, I have made this clear to them, my insurance will not cover them for this risk. I have checked with them and they said the same that they should not bring in an adult size bike into the flat upstairs, it should be left locked up downstairs in a safe place or in a dedicated cycle rack.

by Oliver Black

18:07 PM, 11th October 2021, About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 11/10/2021 - 18:01
Clarifying the insurance point seems reasonable, but I highly doubt you'd be found liable anyway.

And yes, CO is also an issue with an indoor BBQ, but tenants (and people in general) have a general right in this country to injure themselves if they are not causing harm to others, carrying a bike that is too heavy up some stairs falls under this.

Adding such a clause to your lease however remains unreasonable.

(Also, bike insurance companies would likely not deem your outside storage a 'safe place' unless it was a deadbolt secured garage like structure with an immovable object around which to secure a lock inside)


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