Should I have a contract when renting?

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    Should I have a contract when renting?

    Hi all,

    May seem abit of a daft question but I'm wondering how important it is to have an AST agreement when renting a property?

    My current situation is this -

    Currently renting a house and have decided to move to another property run by the same landlord as it's better. This means we will be finishing our current contract early which he is fine with and just moving to the new property. I asked if we needed to sign a new contract and he said no but if we wanted too then the letting agent will charge for this (not entirely sure they're allowed to do that now). My concern is that technically we will never have had an agreement at this new property despite it being run by the same landlord so will this open us up to potential eviction or price rises as and when the landlord wants too? Will we be in a rolling term as such or will we literally be living in a house with no rules to it?

    Any thoughts?

    thanks

    #2
    The letting agent is allowed to charge to vary the existing contracts or to early terminate the current agreement.
    They might charge the landlord for a new agreement.

    It's possible for rent without a written agreement, but it's not usually a good idea for the landlord.
    Your rights relating to eviction and rent increases are broadly the same with or without a written agreement (the landlord can't use the accelerated s21 process without a written agreement).
    It makes eviction for some things more difficult for the landlord - it's hard to argue that you've broken the terms of your tenancy agreement if there isn't one.

    The more complicated bits relate to any tenancy deposit, because, agreement or not, this will be a new tenancy and the deposit should be protected again (and any issues relating to the current house sorted out).

    There are things the landlord has to do at the start of a tenancy, and many of them are part of a tenancy agreement "pack", so, without an agreement, there's a risk they don't get done - again, something that probably favours you.

    If by "we" you mean you are joint tenants, you would probably prefer to be on a rolling (periodic) contract from the start.

    There are rules - lots of the regulations about tenancies are based on Housing Law, but if this was the landlord asking, I'd be advising them to have an agreement.
    Broadly, though I think it favours you as the tenant.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      Just for the avoidance of doubt, you will have an AST agreement, it will just be verbal.
      So any emails or texts about rent and terms would be worth keeping.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Ah excellent, very useful reply so thank you very much. To me it seems that as a tenant it's actually better the way it's going. Just need to sort out the deposit issue really.

        Thanks again!

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