Landlords and letting agents need to create and manage legal contracts on a daily basis but don't always have the resources to use solicitors in their contracting efforts. Not using up-to-date tenancy templates can put your property business on the wrong side of the law and can create unnecessary tension with your tenants. Tailoring tenancy agreements by yourself can create unnecessary legal risk for the landlord and their property. Landlords and letting agents no longer need to be in the dark with their contracts thanks to Legislate. Legislate is an easy-to-use contract management platform which offers customisable lawyer-approved contracts for property and business. This article is an essential read for all landlords and lettings agents as it will explain the essential contracts you need for your property business and how you can create them with Legislate.
Create assured shorthold tenancy agreements which are tailored to your requirements
The type of residential tenancy agreement you need will depend on the nature of the property, the number of tenants and how they are related, and the term of the tenancy. The type of tenancy will also impact the landlord's obligations. Landlords need to protect the tenancy deposit with a government approved deposit scheme in all cases and might need to register for a licence if they are letting a house in multiple occupation (HMO). The notice period for evicting a tenant is regulated by the government and landlords will need to serve a section 21 or section 8 notice. Assured shorthold tenancy agreements (AST) in in England and Wales usually have an initial fixed-term tenancy of 6 or 12 months with the option to then convert into a rolling periodic tenancy. ASTs will specify if the tenant has access to shared facilities, if they need to pay for council tax and other utilities and whether there are any permitted occupiers such as family members. The tenancy agreement should also provide the details of the letting agent if the private landlord has engaged one to manage the property on their behalf.
Landlords and letting agents can create tailored assured shorthold tenancy agreements using Legislate. To start, the a landlord or letting agent will need to specify the term of the agreement, the address of the property and if the tenancy agreement is a sole occupancy, HMO or bedsit. The rent, payment dates and deposit information can then be provided along with special terms such as pets or common parts. The final step is to add the landlord and tenant to the agreement for review and signature.
The following video demonstrates how to create an AST with Legislate. Alternatively, read our AST tutorial.
Landlords and letting agents can also create student tenancy agreements with Legislate which is a 12 month joint tenancy with additional wording relevant to students.
Create a How to rent agreement with all the key information for your tenants
At the start of a new tenancy, a landlord must provide a government "How to rent" letter to the tenant which explains what an AST is and its key terms. A landlord must also supply EPC, EICR and gas safety certificates to the tenant. A landlord who does not provide this prescribed information to tenants is not permitted to serve a section 21 notice.
To create a How to rent agreement with Legislate, simply attach the relevant certificates for the property and other key tenancy terms such as the move in date and potential outstanding deposit payments. Read our how to rent tutorial to see how to create one today.
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Easily create rent increase, rent arrears or tenancy amendment letters
Rental agreements can be modified to make amendments to the terms or to increase the rent. A simple letter can be created on Legislate to make these amendments to the tenancy agreement. If a tenant is in a arrears, a rent arrears letter can be created to remind the tenant of their obligation to pay rent and seek clarity on when the arrears will be repaid. With Legislate you can easily create these letters and offer a professional experience to your tenants.
Create a lodger licence agreement
A person renting a room in a landlord' principal home will be treated as a lodger. This means that unlike a tenant, a lodger will not have exclusive of their room and the landlord will not need to seek an eviction court order to remove them from their property should they breach the terms of the lodger licence agreement. Lodger licence agreements are usually for short periods and the licence fee is usually paid weekly or monthly. To create a lodger licence agreement with Legislate, simply set the terms and invite the lodger for signature. Watch the following tutorial to create one today:
Create a residential lettings terms of business agreement
Letting agents will source a tenant for a property and can be authorised by the landlord to manage the tenancy on their behalf. To formalise the terms of the agreement, a letting agent and landlord will need to enter into a residential lettings terms of business agreement. The agreement will clarify if it is a let-only or full-management contract as well as other key terms such as the agent's fees. Letting agents can create robust residential lettings terms of business agreements which protect their rights and clarify both the landlord and agent's obligations. Watch the following tutorial to find out how to create your residential lettings terms of business agreement with Legislate:
Create a section 21 or section 8 notice
A section 21 notice is an eviction notice which can be served by the landlord to end the tenancy agreement. A section 8 eviction notice can be served by the landlord to end the tenancy agreement when the tenant has breached the terms of the agreement. The required notice to seek evictions will depend on the grounds of the notices and the latest government legislation. When creating a notice it is important to include all the information and to not make mistakes. Legislate helps prevent mistakes by allowing the landlord or letting agent acting on their behalf to create section 21 and section 8 notices which are clear and contain all the statutory information. Watch the following tutorial to create your notices today.
Create a Guarantor Agreement
A guarantor is a person who will guarantee the rent of a tenant if they are unable to make the rent payments. A guarantor will need to enter into a guarantor agreement with the landlord. The following tutorial explains how to create one with Legislate:
Create a Holiday Letting agreement
A holiday letting agreement allows a landlord to let out their property for short periods of time to holiday makers. Because the property will not be the holiday makers' main home, they will not have exclusive possession of the property and the agreement will not be treated as an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. A holiday letting agreement is therefore a licence to occupy which will provide additional details such as whether pets of permitted occupiers (e.g. family members) are allowed to stay at the property during the holiday. To create a robust holiday letting agreement in minutes, read the Legislate tutorial and sign up today.
Legislate is an early stage legal technology startup which allows large landlords, letting agents and small businesses to easily create, sign and manage contracts that are prudent and fair. Legislate’s platform is built on its patented knowledge graph which streamlines the contracting process and aggregates contract statistics to quickly unlock valuable insights. Legislate’s team marries technical and legal expertise to create a painless, smart contracting experience for its users.