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Whatever the type of property you let it's always advisable to have the right tenancy agreement in place. This will protect both tenant and landlord and, in many cases, it's a legal requirement to have a contract. Here are a few of the most commonly used contracts to suit most of the situations you'll encounter as a landlord.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement
Assured Shorthold Tenancies are the most common form of rental in the UK when the landlord doesn't live in the property - it's the default agreement if you don't specify another type when letting your property. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement allows the landlord or tenant to end the tenancy after an initial six month period, by giving notice to quit.
If you want to let a house or flat these legally-binding documents are all you need to put it in writing. They can be used to create the standard type of letting known as an 'Assured Shorthold Tenancy'. These tenancy agreements have been endorsed by the NLA (National Landlords Association).
Whole property lets
- Furnished property - England & Wales
- Furnished property - Scotland
- Unfurnished - England & Wales
- Unfurnished - Scotland
Lets by the room
- Property rented by the room (includes agreements for Scotland as well as England/Wales)
Taking in a lodger has fewer legal requirements than letting a whole property. However, we'd always recommend you put something in writing as it'll protect both you and your lodger and give you a basis for reference should any disagreement arise.
A Lodger Agreement is used when a landlord wants to rent a room in a furnished property where the landlord lives and shares common parts of the property (e.g. bathroom, toilet, kitchen and sitting room) with the tenant or tenants. If you want to rent a room in your flat or house, then this Lodgers Agreement can only be used in situations where the property is your principal home.
Under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, owners wanting to claim money from their tenants' deposits now have to prove that damage has been caused. This means every tenancy agreement should now be accompanied by a property inventory. So, if you're a landlord and you don't keep an accurate rental inventory for your property, you'll find it difficult to justify legitimate deductions to a tenant's deposit at the end of the tenancy period.
Holiday lets/short term lets
- Holiday let agreement (can also be used for short term lets)
A few other useful documents
The links above will provide you with all the basic documents you need to cover your lettings. There are plenty of legally-binding contracts available to suit other types of let though so here are a few you may find useful.
- Residential lettings: The complete guide (book)
- Landlord's letters
- Renting: The Essential Landlord's Guide to Tenant's Rights (book)