A good knowledge of your Lease and property these days is essential, and we guarantee to explain in plain English!
A lease is a grant of exclusive possession of property for a fixed term, in exchange for payment of rent. Leases grant a legal interest in land, as opposed to an equitable interest and are granted by deed for this purpose.
The person granting the lease is known as the landlord or lessor, and the person entitled to possession known as the tenant or lessee. A tenant may or may not have power under the lease to grant a lease for the same property, which is known as a sublease, and is made to a sublease.
These days Leases of property can be quite extensive and complex, running to over fifty pages! Many of the provisions are similar, and well known to those practising in this area of the law.
Whether you are a Landlord or potential Landlord, Tenant or potential Tenant, we can advise how it should be drafted for your best benefit, and also what the other party may be expecting or requiring!
Leases can be somewhat daunting, and cause concern to inexperienced Tenants, and Landlords, but if properly explained, and with proper advice, often many worries are resolved, and you are free to concentrate on your business and achieving your profits!
It is important for you to know and be advised on what, if any, security you may have in the premises, what right you may have to a new Lease.
A tenancy agreement is a legal agreement in writing between you and your landlord that sets out the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant. It may be written or oral. The tenancy agreement gives certain rights to both you and your landlord, for example, your right to occupy the accommodation and your landlord’s right to receive rent for letting the accommodation.
There are different types of tenancy agreement. Some provide the tenant with more rights than others, and most people have one of three types depending on when it was taken out:
The AST is one of the most common in the private rented sector. If your tenancy began, or was agreed, on or after 28 February 1997, it is likely to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Tenancies starting, or agreed, before that date but after 15 January 1989, are more likely to be Assured Tenancies. However, it is important to know that if you are not an Assured or an Assured Shorthold Tenant as your rights may be different for example if you live with your landlord as a lodger and share living accommodation or if your landlord has divided a property into flats and the tenant occupies a different flat from the landlord, these maybe known as an Excluded Tenancy or Licence
If you rent a property where the combined rent is over £25,000 per year, this is known a as a Bare Contractual Tenancy. Bare Contractual Tenancies tend to occur in large households where many people will occupy a property, for example a student household. It only takes 5 people paying £100 a week each in rent for the annual rent to be above £25,000 a year.
You should check to see how your circumstances will define your tenancy agreement.
This type of tenancy agreement is usually issued by a housing trust or housing association. They offer some security in that as long as you do not break the terms of the tenancy agreement you may continue to live in the property.
If you moved into the property before 15th January 1989, you may have a Regulated or Protected Tenancy. This type of tenancy offers the most protection against rent increases or eviction.
You and your landlord may have made arrangements about the tenancy, and these will be part of the tenancy agreement as long as they do not conflict with law. Both you and your landlord have rights and responsibilities given by law. The tenancy agreement can give both you and your landlord more than your statutory rights, but cannot give you less than your statutory rights. If a term in the tenancy agreement gives either you or your landlord less than your statutory rights, that term cannot be enforced.
A tenancy agreement exists even if there is only an oral agreement between you and your landlord. For example, you and your landlord may have agreed at the start of the tenancy how much the rent would be and when it is payable, whether it includes fuel and bills such as water rates or whether your landlord can decide who else can live in the accommodation. Oral agreements can be difficult to enforce because there is often no proof of what has been agreed, or a particular problem may have arisen which the agreement did not cover.