Property

Can I change the terms of the tenancy agreement?

Olivia EvansOlivia Evans
Last updated on:
February 11, 2022
Published on:
November 9, 2021

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How to change the terms of a tenancy agreement pre and post signature?

Tenancy agreements are contracts between a tenant and a landlord to lease an identified property for a specified term at an agreed rate, and the rights and duties of both parties during and after the lease period. They are simple contracts, yet ones that can occasionally be difficult to change due to the need for negotiation between both parties.


This article will discuss how private landlords and tenants can make amendments to the terms of their tenancy agreements, before and after the contract has been signed and depending on the type of tenancy. This article will also explain how Legislate can help you with these processes.

Legislate is a contracting platform where landlords and letting agencies can create legally valid agreements. Our tenancy agreements grants our users sufficient flexibility for fixed term and rolling tenancies, whilst ensuring our contracts are prudent and fair. If you are a landlord or letting agent, view our tutorials or sign up today!

Before you have signed the tenancy agreement:

Before you sign your agreement, the terms of the tenancy agreement are open for some negotiation - within reason. For example, a clause permitting the landlord from entering the property without the tenant’s consent (thus limiting the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the rental property), would be an unfair term for the tenant.


The landlord and tenant can discuss any terms that they might like to be changed and make the amendments accordingly. For example, if the tenant wishes for the tenancy start date to be sooner than the landlord has entered into the contract, the two parties can negotiate and agree on something that works well for both parties. Until the contract has been finalised, making changes to your tenancy agreement is simple and does not require any further process.  


Using Legislate makes this process easier for both parties, as the terms of your contract can be amended until the contract is signed. Rather than using an online template with limited flexibility, Legislate users can tailor their tenancy agreement to best suit their needs.


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After you have signed the tenancy agreement:

After the rental agreement has been signed, there is more of a formal process involved in changing the terms of your tenancy agreement, although there are still options to make any amendments necessary.  


The first option is for the landlord and tenant to make amendments to the existing tenancy agreement through a tenancy amendment letter. This acts as a contract in letter form, between the landlord and the tenant to change, add or remove a term from the original tenancy agreement. The amendment letter should then be attached to the corresponding tenancy agreement to make clear to all parties that a specific clause has been changed. Such amendments can be made, given both parties agree on the change. For example, a tenant might request different dates for rent payments to align with the pay day of a new job. A tenant might also request a new family member be listed as a permitted occupier.


Alternatively, a new agreement can be drawn up, including the agreed change of term, terminating the previous contract. This would involve a new tenancy agreement being created, agreed upon and signed from scratch. A new tenancy agreement will be required for example when a joint tenant is replaced by a new tenant in a joint tenancy. This new tenancy agreement will be signed by the new and remaining tenants. New tenants should made aware beforehand of their potential council tax obligations at their new property. On Legislate, this is straightforward. The app will autofill details that have been inputted into a contract before, meaning it is quicker and easier to change the clause of your contract.


If a landlord wants to increate the rent and they are permitted to, a rent increase letter can be created. At this stage, the tenant can also negotiate a new tenancy agreement with at the new rent amount with an initial term greater than one year to ensure the rent stays fixed for a longer period of time. The minimum notice period for the rent increase is determined based on the payment frequency.


Legislate users can create fair and robust tenancy agreements, which cut the legalese and complex language, using Legislate. You can also create important documents and letters relating to your tenancy, such as tenancy amendment letters, rent arrears letters and how to rent letters. Finally, Legislate also allows you to create lodger licence and holiday letting agreements should you need to.


If you’re interested in learning more, check out our Legislate Guides on Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements, sign up or book an introductory call with the team!

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