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Avoiding mistakes when choosing a tenancy agreement in Stamford and Bourne

As a landlord in Stamford and Bourne, making sure you are familiar with the ins and outs of property law is one of the most important parts of the job.

Avoiding mistakes when choosing a tenancy agreement in Stamford and Bourne: Whether you are a landlord in Stamford and Bourne, Peterborough, Cambridge or anywhere else, getting the right tenancy agreement in place is absolutely crucial to your success.

As a landlord in Stamford and Bourne, making sure you are familiar with the ins and outs of property law is one of the most important parts of the job. The key to success is as much about competent admin as it is about property maintenance or repairs.  Even with the best of intentions however, it’s not uncommon for landlords to leave themselves in risky situations because of a lack of research.   

There are different types of tenancy agreement

As the most common form of tenancy in the UK, most landlords are familiar with Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST). But these aren’t always appropriate or even possible in some properties. As a landlord in Stamford and Bourne it’s important to consider the whole contractual landscape. That includes Excluded Tenancies, Assured Tenancies, Non-Assured Tenancies, Regulated Tenancies and Company Lets. Failing to choose the right contract type can come back to haunt you in the future.

Often, landlords aren’t even aware they’ve agreed an incorrect contract. Factors relating to the tenancy can make the contract type invalid. For instance, if the tenancy is under six months, if the landlord is a resident in the property or if a tenant’s main residence is elsewhere, an AST would be invalid. It’s also possible that your mortgage conditions specify that a certain contract must be used, so it’s important to be clear of what your mortgage stipulates.   

The cost of getting it wrong...

It doesn’t matter what type of tenancy agreement your tenants have signed. If it’s incongruous with the real-world conditions of your tenancy, that piece of paper is useless and you could be in for a surprise. In the eyes of the law, it’s what goes on in your property that determines the type of tenancy agreement you should have in place.

In the case of Street v. Mountford, the House of Lords held that the tenancy type was determined by what happened in the property rather than what it said in the contract. This means that if you were to agree an AST with a tenant who owned a limited company and was using your property as a business address, for example, this would make the tenancy a Company Let in reality. Then if you wanted to use any clauses relating to Section 21 (eviction) you would be unable to, as this is not something that can be done to end a Company Let.

That’s just one of countless examples of things that can go wrong if you have the incorrect tenancy agreement in place. Along with problems evicting people, the wrong contract can mean that tenants could be allowed to leave your property without giving notice. In extreme cases, choosing the wrong contract can lead to fines, rent repayments and more. For instance, landlords who wrongly agree a tenancy that does not require them to protect their deposits in a government scheme will have a nasty surprise when a judge tells them it should have been protected all along.

Make sure your property has the right tenancy from the start

Not every landlord has the time to become an expert in contract law and lettings management. That’s why landlords who want legally watertight contracts come to Belvoir Stamford and Bourne. We are experts in lettings management and can give you the peace of mind that you stay on the right side of the law as a landlord. For a free informal chat about your lettings business, feel free to get in touch with me directly.

You may also be interested in:

>> 13 legal obligations you must abide as a landlord
>> Landlords: what’s the best length tenancy to offer
>> Can you change letting agent as a landlord?

Luke Clarke 
Lettings Manager 
01780 723333
luke.clarke@belvoir.co.uk

Luke Clarke is Belvoir Stamford Lettings Manager. Luke has over 12 years of property experience and has built up unrivalled expertise in the lettings industry and remains a tried and tested advisor for landlords who not only intrust Luke with the complexities of day to day property management but also to assist them with the ongoing development of their property portfolio.

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