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7 Most Important Clauses To Include In Your Tenancy Agreement

Important clauses to include in tenancy agreement

When you rent out your buy-to-let property you need a robust tenancy agreement. You're under no legal obligation to use one but it would be foolish not to. 


Why a tenancy agreement is so important


The tenancy agreement is the document which lays down the rules for both tenant and landlord to follow. A well-drafted, concise and clear agreement can go a long to preventing disputes during the tenancy.  But ambiguous wording can have the opposite effect. So, the contract should set out clearly what each party's responsibilities are.


Who pays what and when? What happens when something goes wrong? What are the terms regarding the rent and deposit? The tenancy agreement must answer all those questions.


The most important clauses to include in your tenancy agreement


Although no two tenancies are exactly the same, here are our top 7 suggestions for clauses you must include in your tenancy agreement. But before getting into the list its worth pointing out that just because you include something in your tenancy agreement doesn't make it enforceable. All clauses must be fair and reasonable. And don't forget the tenant fee ban prohibits you including certain charges.


That said, here are some clauses you really should ensure are in your tenancy agreement.


Rent and deposit


Sounds obvious and it is. But it's always safe to include a rent schedule along with information on what can happen if the tenant gets into arrears.


Include information on the deposit. This should specify the amount and date on which it must be paid. Note the grounds on which you can make deductions. You should also include details of the deposit protection scheme you use. But of course, your tenancy document pack must still contain the prescribed information regardless of what you include in the tenancy agreement.


Council tax and utility supplies


In the vast majority of cases, it will be the tenant who pays the bills. But don't leave any room for doubt. You should clearly state in your tenancy agreement who pays what. Make sure the tenant understands they’re liable for the utilities they’ve used. And if they’re in arrears at the end of the tenancy they’ll still be liable for those costs. Even when they leave the property.




Another area where tenants and landlord often clash is over repairs and maintenance. Your tenancy agreement should clearly state who is responsible for resolving issues when things go wrong. The majority of times it’ll be your responsibility to repair appliances (not the tenant’s own) and to carry out routine maintenance. But make sure the tenancy agreement includes details on what the tenant’s responsibilities are and how they should report any necessary repairs.




Apart from rent and cleaning, pets are probably the biggest cause of disputes between landlord and tenant. Whatever your stance on pets - whether you accept them or not - make sure it's clearly articulated in the tenancy agreement. Especially if you prohibit all pets. And make sure the tenant is aware of the consequences should they break this particular clause.




As we've already alluded to, cleaning can cause a lot of friction. Especially at the end of the tenancy. Of course, they'll be wear and tear but there's no excuse for the property not being clean. Unfortunately, a tenant's view of what constitutes 'clean' can be very different from yours. And disputes over cleaning are very common. You can try to head these off with the tenancy agreement. Make it clear deductions will be made from the security deposit should extra cleaning be necessary at the end of the tenancy.




This can be a very contentious issue. The tenancy agreement must be clear who you're renting the property to. Name the tenant or any joint tenants in the contract. Sub-letting is becoming a problem for many landlords as tenants look to reduce costs by moving another person into the property. This can lead to complications further down the line so it's best to be clear from the start who the tenant is and whether they're allowed to sub-let.


Key dates


Include a list of key dates the tenant needs to be aware of. These should include:


·         Tenancy start date.

·         Rent due date.

·         Any rent review dates.

·         When the fixed term of the tenancy ends.

·         Right to rent check dates.


Those are our top seven important clauses to include in your tenancy agreement. There are others you must also include – especially the termination procedure. But drawing up a tenancy agreement can be difficult. Your online letting agent can help you out or you can use the model contract published by the government. But whatever you do don't rely on something you've jotted down on the back of an envelope. The tenancy agreement is probably the most important landlord document of all.


Private landlords can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove the online letting platform bringing landlords and tenants together.

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