A tenancy is a contract between a landlord and a tenant which allows the tenant, upon payment of rent and observing the landlord’s rules, to live in a property.
The rules, rights and obligations that both the landlord and tenant must follow are set out in the Landlord and Tenant Acts.
There are a number of different types of tenancies that exist. The Landlord and Tenant Acts cover both residential and commercial tenancies. The ones which relate to residential properties are set out in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.
The three most common types of residential tenancy agreements are:-
- Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) – the most common tenancy agreement that is used in most residential lettings;
- Assured Tenancy – this is where an AST does not apply;
- Regulated Tenancy Agreements – these give more rights than an AST but a tenant must have moved into the property before 15 January 1989 and must not be living in the same building as the landlord and must also not receive any other services by the landlord
The obligations set out in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is very important for a landlord. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 if a tenancy has been granted, the landlord must provide the tenant with a rent book, ensure that the property is suitable for living in and there are set provisions for maintaining the property in relation to repairs and collecting service charge.
Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant 1985 sets out what repairs and maintenance the landlord should carry out if a tenancy has been granted.
If a property is rented out by way of a tenancy agreement, then under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 the tenant has the right to first refusal if the landlord decides to sell the property.
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