Beware free tenancy agreements

You can find free tenancy agreements online, or buy blank ones from newsagents or stationers, but the problem with these is that they are frequently not up to date, contradict relevant legislation and/or contain clauses which the courts would consider unfair – all of which has the effect of making the particular clause totally unenforceable. This generally results in the clause having the complete opposite effect of that intended.

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Would you let your property using a free tenancy agreement?

Just a small example: Saying ‘no pets’ is not enforceable, as it is unfair and therefore could be safely ignored by the tenant, meaning they could actually have whatever pet they wished! Instead the tenancy agreement should say that the tenant must seek the landlord’s consent to keep a pet, and that such consent will not unreasonably be withheld. So it would be unreasonable to not allow the tenant to keep a goldfish in a small flat, but you could legitimately refuse permission to keep a Great Dane.

Imagine the small example above applied to every phrase in the tenancy agreement – would you really want to use a free or cheap template to draft the tenancy agreement for a property that is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds? That free agreement could end up costing you a huge amount of money if not correctly worded. This is no exaggeration when you consider how much the rent on your property is likely to be each month, and we’ve seen it happen multiple times.

So we would recommend having your tenancy agreement professionally drafted – it will usually save you money in the long run. We can do this for you, and can also arrange for the agreement to be electronically signed by all parties. Once everybody has signed we can arrange for each party to receive a fully signed copy of the agreement. This alone can save you a lot of time and expense in printing, photocopying and postage, or┬áhassle in trying to get all parties together at the same place and time to sign the agreement.

If you’d like to use our tenancy agreement drafting and signature service, please contact us here.

About David Porter

David is a chartered surveyor, residential landlord and director at Knight Property Management, which specialises in the letting and management of quality residential properties.
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