A tenancy agreement is a written document stating the duties and obligations of a landlord and his/her tenant. This document is signed by the tenant and the landlord or his duly appointed agent before and they both become bound by the terms once the agreement is signed.
Now let’s discuss the basic features of a tenancy agreement.
- Parties: A tenancy agreement must identify the parties. The name and address of the landlord and tenant must be clearly stated on the agreement.
- Duration of Rent: The agreement must indicate type of tenancy to be established. Is it a monthly, quarterly or yearly tenancy that is about to be created? The type of tenancy will also determine the rent to be paid for that period.
- Description: The apartment to be rented must be well described. If the tenant is renting only a 3 bedroom flat and not with the boys quarters, it must be clearly stated. The agreement must be clear and devoid of any ambiguity.
- Rights, Duties and Waivers. The tenancy agreement restates the rights and duties of the landlord and his tenant. For instance, a tenant has a right to quietly enjoy his new apartment without any disturbance from the landlord. The tenancy agreement may also waive certain rights. If a tenant agrees to one month quit notice instead of the statutory six months in case of a yearly tenant, he becomes bound by it. So, it is important to read carefully the content of your tenancy agreement before rushing to sign. Look before you leap! The landlord too has a duty to repair any fundamental defect in the structure of the house.
- Rules and Regulations. The landlord may have some rules he want a tenant to abide with before letting out his/her apartment. The rules vary and it is for the tenant to know whether he/she can comply with the rules. In case of non compliance, a tenant may not have the opportunity to renew the tenancy. It is also essential that a tenant must put the house into a tenantable condition.
- Signature and Witnessing. Like every agreement, the parties must append their signatures at the end of the document. There will also be a space for a third party to witness it on behalf of the parties.
In general, a tenancy agreement is not meant to confer more title over the other but it will help state out the intentions of the parties.
This post was written by Yussuf, Oluwatosin Mahmudat, LL.M, B.L. is the Managing Partner for Mondial Solicitors.