Room let Agreement (Room Licence Agreement)
This document must not be used if you (the landlord) do not live in the same property with the person you are letting to. You may wish to use the Lodger agreement if you are a resident landlord, you click to click the link below to go back to view the lodger agreement.
However, under certain circumstances, this document can be used, even if the landlord does not live in the same property where the landlord provides certain daily services like changing bed linen and providing breakfast.
You can click the link below to go back to view all the various tenancy types if in doubt seek free advice from our free member’s helpline.
It is important to use the correct tenancy. Different types of tenancy give the landlord and tenants different rights:
- Tenants who rent from a private landlord (PRS) who does not live in the same property as the landlord will usually have an assured shorthold tenancy.
- If the tenant has been in possession of the property before 15th of January 1989, then the tenant may have an “Assured” tenancy or a “regulated” tenancy.
- If your lodger lives with you and shares living accommodation with you, then he/she is likely a lodger and not a tenant. Lodgers have fewer rights than tenants say under an assured shorthold tenancy.
Warning: Some landlords have and may try to wrongly use a lodger agreement, when in fact the correct agreement is an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. A landlord may try to give a lodger agreement to a tenant to deprive the tenant of the protection and rights they have.
Judges will consider what the correct tenancy ought to be rather than what has been signed by the parties. An agreement created by a landlord will not override the Act of parliament nor the rights of the tenants.
Trying to dress up a wolf in a sheep clothing does not work.
The type of tenancy that is applicable does depend on:
- The inception date of the tenancy (when the tenancy started).
- If you live with the tenant.
- Who your landlord is.
- Type of housing/property you live in.
Should I use a Tenancy or a licence?
The correct agreement to use is probably going to be either a tenancy or a licence agreement.
The key difference between a tenancy and a licence is that a tenancy gives the tenant more protection from eviction and some other rights too.
Joint tenancy agreements
When tenants sign a joint tenancy with other people, the tenants have the same rights and obligations as each other.
Tenants are jointly and individually responsible in law for things like:
- rent arrears caused by any of the tenants.
- Damage caused to the property by any of the tenants.
If one of the tenants wishes to leave and gives you notice to terminate the agreement. It may end the agreement for all of the other tenants too.
If there is no written agreement between you and your tenant, this does not mean there is no tenancy. The housing Act allows for an oral tenancy. It is highly recommended you should have a written agreement with your tenant.
Oral agreements can be more difficult to enforce if there is any dispute between you and the tenant.
A written agreement will help both parties to understand the rights and responsibilities that they must abide by.
Written tenancy agreements
A written agreement should contain some basic information like:
- the name of the tenant(s)/Loger
- the address of the property (or room number) you are renting a room.
- The name, address & telephone of the landlord.
- The rent payable, when it is due.
- The agreement should stipulate if the rent includes bills such as council tax, water rates or any other charges.
- The term of the tenancy, how long the tenancy is for.
- Terms how both parties can end the tenancy.
- How much the deposit is if it needs to be protected information regarding the scheme and conditions where the landlord may make deductions from the deposit.
- You may wish to stipulate if pets are allowed, if so what type and size and a number of pets are allowed.
Unfair terms in tenancy agreements
A tenancy by law should be fair and not contain any unfair terms.
An unfair term can be deemed one that puts the tenant or a lodger at an unfair disadvantage.
some of these examples are considered unfair:
- you the landlord can change the terms within the fixed term anytime you like.
- The tenant has to pay for repairs when under housing law, it is the legal responsibility of the landlord.
- You can carry out an inspection of the property weekly.
Unfair terms in a tenancy agreement are not legally binding on a tenant. However, the rest of the agreement save for the clauses, which may be deemed unfair, are applicable.
Author: Amanda Goldsmith
Source: British Landlord Association
Date: 23rd of September 2020
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