We use a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. This is signed by all parties once deposits are received and – if necessary – references checked. It is a legal document under which the tenants are jointly and severally liable. In Newcastle it is usual for contracts to commence 1 July and end 30 June – ie a 12 month contract.
Below is the standard wording that we have used for several years:
Neil Patterson & Brian Adcock
HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED AS “the Landlord”
HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED AS “the Tenant”
This tenancy agreement is intended to create an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement as defined in section 20 Housing Act 1988 and the provisions for Recovery of Possession by the Landlord in Section 21 thereof apply accordingly.
THIS ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY AGREEMENT IS MADE
The Landlord lets and the Tenant takes the property known as
Property X, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 XXX
For a period of 52 weeks
From 12 noon on 1st July 200X until 12 noon on 30th June 200X
At a rental of £X per calendar month for the whole property.
The rent per tenant is £X per week and £X per month.
The rent must be paid by standing order with 8 monthly payments of £X each, commencing on 1st July 200X. Payments to be made to Barclays Bank, sort code XX-XX-XX, account number XXXXXXXX, account name NE Patterson & BW Adcock.
The tenant shall pay the sum of £X deposit (one months rent) to the Landlord to be held as security against rent, any obligations required by the Tenant under this Tenancy Agreement, any repairs which are the responsibility of the Tenant, and for any legal proceedings which may be commenced by the Landlord against the Tenant.
In the event of there being any subsequent dispute regarding return of the deposit, the Tenant shall seek the return of this from the Landlord and agrees to indemnify the Agent against legal action for the return of the deposit.
The deposit will be refunded by cheque upon the Tenant giving proof that all gas, water, electrics, telephone and council tax bills for the property have been paid, and
Upon a satisfactory report and schedule of dilapidations (if any) accrued at the termination of the Tenancy and prepared by the Inventory Clerk (appointed by the Landlord’s Agents) shall be accepted by each of the parties hereto and it is agreed that the decision of the Inventory Clerk in respect to whether or not any item of dilapidations has or has not accrued is attributed to either party is final and binding upon them.
THE TENANT agrees to take the property insofar as the Landlord can grant the Tenant rights to the use and occupation of the Property, together with its furniture and effects as may be listed on any Inventory accompanying this Tenancy Agreement,
And that the Tenant will confirm on 1st July 200X that the property has been inspected and found it suitable for his/her purposes and in clean condition and good repair.
THE TENANT shall
- Pay the Rent to the Landlord or his Agent at the times and in the manner specified, without deduction or set-off and further agrees to pay interest at the rate of £2.00 per day on any rent in arrears for more than 14 days calculated from the day on which such rent was due to the date upon which cleared funds are received in respect of such Rent.
- Arrange forthwith the relevant Authorities for all gas, water, electricity, telephone, Council Tax or any other property tax to be put into the name(s) of the Tenant and to pay all standing charges in connection with the same and all charges for all gas, fuel oil, light and power which shall be consumed or supplied on or to the property during the Tenancy, and the amount of all charges for the use of the said telephone, and any television licence and not to allow the said services to be disconnected, altered or removed and shall ensure that the said services are operating throughout the Tenancy and the Tenant shall nor change or permit to be changed without the consent in writing of the Landlord the number of the telephone and not transfer the said number at the end of the Tenancy. If any services are disconnected, the Tenant shall be responsible for all reconnection charges.
The Tenant hereby agrees to indemnify the Landlord against all Council Tax liability occurring during the period of the Tenancy.
- Forthwith to send any notice the Tenant receives concerning the Property to the Landlord at the address given in this Agreement for Services of Notices.
- Use the Property as the Tenants principal home and use the Property in a Tenant-like manner at all times.
- Not leave the Property vacant for a period in excess of 28 days without informing the Landlord. The Tenant shall make arrangements to turn off and drain the water supply together with the central heating system (if installed) after turning off all water heating appliances to avoid leakage or frost damage.
- Not carry on or permit to be carried on from the Property, any business, trade or profession whatsoever and shall use the same as a private residence in the occupation of the Tenant and his immediate family only.
- Not use the Property for any illegal or immoral purpose, or in contravention of any statute, regulation or bye-law.
- Not alter, change or install any locks on any doors or windows in or about the Property or have any additional keys made for any locks without the prior written consent of the Landlord. If any changes are approved by the Landlord the Tenant agrees to make available spare copies to the Landlord or his Agent.
- Ensure that when the Property is left vacant or unattended all external doors and windows are properly secured by all locks and other means provided by the Landlord and the burglar alarm (if any) is activated. The Tenant shall also notify the Landlord and his Agent of any change to the burglar alarm code. The Tenant hereby agrees to cover any losses suffered by the Landlord should doors or windows not be secured or the burglar alarm not be activated when the Property is left vacant.
- Not to hold any sale by auction on the premises.
- Not to stop, darken or obstruct any windows or light belonging to the premises.
- Not to permit any encroachment or easement to be made or acquired in, out or upon the premises.
- Preserve all furniture, equipment and effects from being destroyed or damaged and make good and pay for, repair or replace with articles of a similar kind and equal value such of the furniture, equipment and effects as shall be destroyed, lost, broken or damaged (fair wear and tear, accidental fire and insured risks excepted).
- The Tenant shall not allow any conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to any person residing, visiting, or otherwise engaged in lawful activity in the locality, neither shall the Tenant make or permit to be made any racist behaviour whatsoever.In particular, no music shall be played which can be heard outside the Property between the hours of 11pm and 9am or which shall cause a nuisance or annoyance top others at any other time.
- Not, without the consent on writing of the Landlord, make available a key to any other person.
MAINTENANCE OF THE PROPERTY
Section 11(3) LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1985 states that “In determining the standard of repair required by the Lessors repairing covenant regard shall be had to the age, character and prospective life of the dwelling house and locality in which it is located.” This provides a guide to the standard of repair you can reasonably expect from your Landlord.
THE TENANT SHALL
- Keep the interior of the Property during the term in as good and clean state of repair, condition and decoration as the premises are at the commencement of the Term, and make good all damage and breakage to the Premises which may occur during the Term (fair wear, tear, damage by accidental fire and insured loss excepted). The Tenant shall not redecorate the Property without the written consent of the Landlord.
- Not damage or injure the premises or make any alteration or addition to the premises and the Tenant shall accept responsibility for damage caused by misuse of any electrical appliances.
- Keep the drains, gutters and pipes of the Premises clear and have chimneys swept at least once every 12 months and more if necessary.
- Not to lop, top or cut down or damage any trees or shrubs or plants growing upon the Premises or alter the general character of the garden and to keep the grounds and garden in good order throughout the tenancy according to the season of the year.
- Clean windows every 6 weeks both inside and out and replace any broken glass at the Tenants expense.
- Not fix or suffer to be fixed to the exterior or windows of the Premises any board, sign, notice, advertisement or poster.
- Keep all furniture listed in the Inventory attached to this Agreement in the same condition as it was at the start of the Tenancy, fair wear and tear excepted.
- Keep all carpets supplied under this Tenancy in the same clean condition they were at the start of the Tenancy.
- Replace all defective tap washers, fuses, light bulbs and fluorescent tubes as and when necessary.
- Not permit to be discharged in the drains any oil, grease, or any deleterious, objectionable, dangerous or explosive matter.
- Not to deposit or accumulate any waste, rubbish or refuse in any part of the premises other than in the dustbins provided.
- Not permit any waste, spoil or destruction to the Property.
REPAIRS – TENANT
The Tenant undertakes to inform the Landlord or his Agent immediately of any item of disrepair to the Property and undertakes not to incur any expenditure on the Landlord’s behalf without consent of the Landlord in writing. The Tenant expressly agrees that any expenditure incurred without the written authority will not be reimbursed.
SAFETY – FACILITIES
In the event of gas, water or electricity becoming unsafe for any reason, the Tenant undertakes to disconnect these at source and immediately notify the Landlord or his Agent.
INSPECTION AND ACCESS
In accordance with Section 11(6) LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1985
The Tenant hereby agrees to allow the lessor or any person authorised by him in writing, at all reasonable times of the day, and upon the Landlord giving 24 hours notice in writing, to enter the Premises comprised in this lease, for the purpose of viewing its condition and state of repair. The Tenant also permits the Landlord or his Agent to hold a key for the purposes of emergency or to inspect the Property.
The Tenant further agrees to allow access to the Landlord’s workmen to affect repairs, and to provide them with such gas, water or electricity as may be needed by them to undertake the repairs.
REPAIRS – LANDLORD
The Tenant further agrees that the Landlord is only liable to undertake repairs once he has been notified that a repair is necessary, and the Tenant undertakes to send such notification in writing to the Landlord at the address contained herein for service of documents.
Under S11 LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1985 the Landlord is responsible for the following repairs:
- To keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling house (including drains, gutters and external pipes)
- To keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making the use of the supply of water, gas or electricity and
- To keep in repair an proper working order the installations in the dwelling house for space heating and heating water.
The same Act states that the repairing covenant shall not be construed as requiring the Landlord to carry out works or repairs for which the lessee is liable by virtue of his duty to use the Premises in a tenant-like manner, or keep in repair or maintain anything which the lessee is entitled to remove from the dwelling house.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The Tenant is not permitted to have any other form of heating except that provided by the Landlord, and that the Tenant is not to have any paraffin heater, or portable Calor gas heaters of any description.
The Tenant is not to leave the washing machine functioning whilst the Tenant is not in the Premises.
The Tenant is not to park or permit to be parked so as to cause any obstruction or annoyance in or on any approach road or passageways leading to the Property any motor car, bicycle, perambulator or other vehicle used by the Tenant, their friends, servants or other visitors to the Property.
The Tenant agrees to notify the Landlord immediately any gas, water or electrical installation malfunctions or appears to do so, and to notify the Landlord immediately of any damage which may give rise to a claim under the insurance of the Premises.
The Tenant agrees not to stop up any flues or ventilators to or in the Property.
The Tenant agrees not to do anything to breach the lease or freehold obligations of the Landlord.
The Tenant shall not keep any cat, dog, or other bird, reptile, or pet of any description, and where consent is given shall keep any such pet under proper control.
SUB-TENANTS AND GUESTS
The Tenant shall not, without the Landlord’s consent in writing, take in any lodger or paying guest, or assign, sublet, or part with possession of the whole or any part of the premises.
The Tenant shall occupy the Premises as a domestic residence and shall not carry on or permit to be carried on upon the Premises and profession, trade or business whatsoever nor do anything or suffer to be done on the Premises or elsewhere anything which may be or may become a nuisance, annoyance or inconvenience to the Landlord or the tenants or occupiers of any neighbouring premises or which may vitiate any insurance of the Premises or increase the premium for such insurance.
Should the Tenant make a claim for Housing Benefit, the Tenant shall immediately upon making such a claim advise the Landlord and will then
A) Agree that all Housing Benefit be paid direct to the Landlord or his Agent.
B) Notify the Housing Benefit Department of the Local Authority in writing of any change in circumstance that may affect Benefit entitlement and send a copy to the Landlord.
C) Agree to indemnify the Landlord should the local Authority seek to claim an alleged overpayment of Housing Benefit from the Landlord or his Agent.
D) Pay any shortfall in rent to the Landlord each time the Tenant receives his Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support payment.
The deposit shall be forfeit in its entirety if the Tenant ends the Tenancy during the first 6 months of the Tenancy, and this includes the situation where the Tenant, having signed for the Tenancy fails to take up the Tenancy.
The Tenant shall also pay the Landlord or his Agent’s reasonable costs for the Tenant’s failure to adhere to the Tenancy Terms, and the Tenant agrees to pay the following additional charges:
- Where the Landlord or his Agent sends to the Tenant a letter, email or SMS text message concerning any breach of the Tenancy (including rent arrears) the Tenant shall pay the fixed fee of £20.
- Where the Landlord or his Agent sends to the Tenant a Notice under Section 8 of the Housing Act (for any breach of the Tenancy) the Tenant shall pay the fixed fee of £35.
- Where the Tenant fails to respond to the above, and as a consequence a home visit by the Landlord or his Agent becomes necessary, the Tenant agrees to pay the fixed fee of £60.
- Where the Property is left in an unclean condition at the end of the Tenancy the Tenant shall pay the Landlord’s costs of cleaning the same.
- VAT will be charged additionally if applicable.
Hereby warrants that he is legally entitled to grant the Tenancy hereby created and has obtained any appropriate consent from any Mortgagee or Superior Landlord or other interested party and that the Property hereby agreed to be let is not subject to any restrictive or other covenants or stipulations which have not been disclosed to the Tenant and the observance and performance of which would restrict or lessen the Tenant’s enjoyment of the said Property.
THE LANDLORD AGREES WITH THE TENANT AS FOLLOWS:
A) That Tenant paying the rent and performing the agreements on the part of the Tenant may quietly possess and enjoy the Property during the Tenancy without any lawful interruption from the Landlord or any person claiming under or in trust for the Landlord.
B) To return to the Tenant any rent payable and in fact paid in advance for any period while the Property is rendered uninhabitable or inaccessible by reason of fire or any uninsured risk (unless the insurance is vitiated as a result of the act or default of the Tenant) the amount in case of dispute to be settled by Arbitration.
C) To insure the Property and keep insured with a reputable Insurance Company during the period of the Tenancy against loss or damage by fire and such other risks as are normally covered by a comprehensive Insurance Policy.
D) To pay and indemnify the Tenant against all assessments and outgoings in respect of the Property (except water rates, council tax payable by the Tenant, TV license fee and charges for the supply of gas, water, electric or the use of any phone).
E) The Landlord shall not be liable or responsible for any injury or damage suffered by the Tenant or any occupier of the premises or any person being a servant of the Tenant or being on the Premises with the express or implied permission, or occurring to the said Premises or to the fixed chattels of the Property of the Tenant or any such person therein by reason of any defect on the Premises or through the neglect, default or misconduct of any agent or other person employed by the Landlord.
F) In this Agreement words importing the masculine gender only shall include the feminine gender and words importing the singular number shall include the plural number and where there are two or more persons included from time to time in the expression “the Landlord” and “the Tenant” covenants entered into or accepted by such persons shall be deemed to be contracted jointly and severally and to be performed accordingly.
G) In accordance with Section 48 LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1987 the Tenant is hereby notified that any notice (including notices in proceedings) must be served on the Landlord by the Tenant at the following address:
H) If in whole or in part any term, provision or covenant of the Agreement shall be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, void or unenforceable, or contrary to the Housing Acts 1988 and 1996 such decision shall not affect the nature of the Agreement as a whole or the validity of the remaining provisions or covenants of the Agreement which shall remain in full force and effect and shall in no way be affected or impaired or invalidated.
I) The Tenant shall pay to the Landlord forthwith on demand of all costs and expenses incurred or to be incurred by the Landlord as a result of or in connection with any breach of this Agreement by the Tenant (including but not limited to legal costs on a solicitor and own client basis) and shall indemnify the Landlord against all losses, claims, damages and demands arising out of or in any way connected with any such breach.
J) The Landlord hereby gives notice to the Tenant that they may have at some time before the beginning of the proposed Tenancy occupied the Property as their principal home and that in either event possession of the dwelling house may be required on Ground 1 or Ground 2 of Schedule 2 Housing Act 1988 (being subject to a mortgage granted before the start of the Tenancy).
PROVIDED ALWAYS AND IT IS HEREBY AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
- If the rent or any instalment or part thereof shall be in arrears or unpaid for at least 14 days after the same shall have become due *whether legally demanded or not) or
- In the event of any breach of any of the agreements on the part of the Tenant herein contained or implied or
- If the Property shall without consent as aforesaid be left vacancy or unoccupied or of the Tenant abandons the Property or
- If the Tenant being an individual shall become bankrupt or if the Tenant shall enter into any composition with his creditors or suffer any distress of his goods in the Property or
- In the event of any of the circumstances mentioned in Grounds 8, 10, 11-15 of part (ii) of Schedule 2 Housing Act 1988 as amended by Housing Act 1996 or
- If the Landlord was induced to grant the Tenancy by a false statement made knowingly or recklessly by (a) the Tenant or (b) by a person acting at the Tenant’s instigation
The Landlord shall be entitled to re-enter on the Property (subject always to any statutory restriction on his power to do so) and immediately thereupon the Tenancy shall absolutely determine without prejudice to any other remedy of the Landlord.
SERVICES OF NOTICE UPON THE TENANT
It is hereby agreed that Section 196(5) LAW OF PROPERTY ACT 1925 shall apply to the service of any notice by the Landlord upon the Tenant. This provides that the notice is deemed served upon the Tenant if it is delivered to the Tenants address herein contained and which is the subject of this Tenancy.
This Tenancy is for a fixed period. The Tenant may not end the Tenancy until 30/06/0X and is legally bound to pay for the rent for the whole period of the Agreement.
AT THE END OF THE TENANCY
- The Tenant agrees to permit the Landlord or his Agents upon giving reasonable notice to enter the premises at all reasonable times but by prior appointment, to show the premises to prospective tenants or purchasers during the last month of the Tenancy hereby created and to permit the Landlord or his Agents to erect a For Sale or To Let board at the premises during this time.
- To hand over to the Landlord or his Agent on the last day of the Tenancy whether on its expiration or sooner determination, all keys to the Property.
- To yield up the Property with all its additions (if any) and the effect in good and tenantable repair and condition (except as aforesaid) and in the same clean state as it was at the beginning of the Tenancy.
- To pay for, or have cleaned all of the curtains and floor coverings and such of the effects as have in the opinion of the Landlord become soiled during the Tenancy.
- The Tenant hereby authorises the Landlord to dispose of any such property belonging to the Tenant which is left behind in the Property 7 days after the ending of the Tenancy, by whatever means the Landlord considers suitable, including total destruction if necessary, and agrees to indemnify the Landlord against claims from any third party, and also agrees not to make any claim against the Landlord whatsoever for the disposal of such property.
THE GUARANTOR (IF ANY) AGREES WITH THE LANDLORD:
- (A) That during the Tenancy the Tenant will pay the rent and carry out all the Tenant’s agreements and obligations under the Agreement.(B) If the Tenant fails to pay the rent or defaults in carrying out the Tenant’s agreements and obligations that on demand the Guarantor will indemnify the Landlord against all losses, claims, liabilities, costs and expenses arising out of or in connection with the failure to pay or default incurred by the Landlord in connection therewith.
- It is agreed that the Guarantor’s liability under this clause will not be discharged or affected by any alteration in the rent or any variation to the Tenancy or alteration in the terms of the tenancy or act, neglect or giving of time by the Landlord endeavouring to obtain payments or in enforcing the Tenant’s agreements or obligations and if the Tenant surrenders any part of the Property the Guarantor’s liability will continue in respect of the part not surrendered. Any liabilities accrued at the date of surrender will continue unaffected.
- The Guarantee will continue and apply to any extension of the Tenancy and to any Statutory Periodic Tenancy relating to the Property to which the Landlord and the Tenant are parties.
AS WITNESS THE HANDS OF THE SAID PARTIES
SIGNED BY THE LANDLORD
Address of witness
SIGNED BY TENANTS
Address of witness