This post is in response to a very common question on our blog. If you’re involved in anyway with property rental Liverpool or in another city you’ll want to know about leases. We’ve asked our good friends Bluerow lettings who understand the issues with property rental Liverpool… for advice.
It’s important to seek professional property management advice on all legal issues.
Under English law, tenancy agreements can be created orally and do not need to have a written agreement to be legally binding – in fact, once a person is given possession (exclusively) of land or property (usually evidenced by possession of the keys) and the owner accepts rent payments, a tenancy comes into existence legally.
However, getting an agreement in writing is strongly recommended as oral agreements are obviously difficult to enforce because there is often no proof of what has been agreed, or a particular problem may have arisen which the agreement did not cover.
Is there a ‘standard’ lease?
The type of tenancy you have depends to a large degree on when it was taken out, but is likely to be an assured shorthold tenancy.
Can the landlord makeup the lease himself?
There are obligations you and your landlord have which may not be set down in the agreement but which are given by law and are implied into all tenancy agreements. These terms form part of the contract, even though they have not been specifically agreed between your landlord and you.
What does the lease have to include?
Written agreements need to specify certain things, including:
* The type of tenancy you have
* Your name and your landlord’s name and the address of the property which is being let
* The date the tenancy began
* Details of whether other people are allowed the use of the property, and if so, which rooms
* The duration of the tenancy, that is, whether it runs out on a certain date
* The amount of rent payable, how often and when it should be paid and how often and when it can be increased.
* Whether your landlord will provide any services, for example, laundry, maintenance of common parts or meals and whether there are service charges for these
* The length of notice which you and your landlord need to give if the tenancy is to be ended. Note that there are statutory rules about how much notice should be given and these will depend on the type of tenancy and why it is due to end.
You are obliged to take proper care of the accommodation and your landlord is also obliged by law to give their address.
Can the terms of the tenancy agreement be changed during the period of the tenancy?
A tenancy agreement can normally only be changed if both you and your landlord agree, in which case the change should be recorded in writing, either by drawing up a new written document setting out the terms of the tenancy or by amending the existing written tenancy agreement.
An oral agreement can also be varied, and usually the variation will be oral too. In the case of a dispute, evidence of the variation can be provided if there were witnesses to the new agreement or simply by both parties acting on the variation, for example, by paying and accepting a new rent.