Which tenancy agreement template do you use and why?

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    Which tenancy agreement template do you use and why?

    Interested to know which single let assured short-hold tenancy agreement templates you are all using and why it is your preferred choice.
    I assume the in depth detailed ones available from the likes of gov.uk, NRLA and open rent are probably the most popular ones.
    Do any of you keep it simple and use the basic ones such as the Lawpack F301e form?

    #2
    I use a modified version of the one on gov.uk

    Comment


      #3
      Is your question really which is the best one to use? If so then that has been discussed on the forum a few times with the conclusion that there are no perfect options. The gov.uk model is generally regarded to be the best, but its way too long and not something I'd consider. Most of the other standard templates were considered to be imperfect but not so much as to be unusable. The NRLA model, the one I use is at least reviewed fairly frequently. Its also a CPT so has some advantages over other fixed term agreements.

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        #4
        Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
        Is your question really which is the best one to use? If so then that has been discussed on the forum a few times with the conclusion that there are no perfect options. The gov.uk model is generally regarded to be the best, but its way too long and not something I'd consider. Most of the other standard templates were considered to be imperfect but not so much as to be unusable. The NRLA model, the one I use is at least reviewed fairly frequently. Its also a CPT so has some advantages over other fixed term agreements.

        No I’m not asking which one is best because I know there wouldn’t be a best one for everybody.
        I was hoping to hear opinions as to why different people prefer different templates to try and gain information to make my own choice as to what would suit me.
        House has been empty since before Covid outbreak and lockdown but I’m now preparing to start looking for tenants, I’ve booked in the CP12 and EICR and need to make a decision about which tenancy agreement to go with.
        In the past I have used the F301 forms because they are quick and simple to complete and allow you to write in your own clauses or information relating to the agreement, they have been perfectly fine for me but i feel that they look a little amateurish. I am in agreement with you about the gov.uk one being far too long, I remember the first time i saw it I was looking through it wondering where the actual tenancy agreement was then I realised the whole lot of it was the tenancy agreement!
        As a paid member of NRLA I was planning on using their one but there was a particular part of it that I just could not understand, can’t remember exactly what it was but I think it was something to do with the guarantor or lead tenant information, I phoned NRLA for clarification and whilst the lady on the phone was very polite and happy to explain it I just could not understand what it meant so after her explaining twice I ended up just pretending to understand and thanking her for her time. Another thing I don’t like with the NRLA one is having to include the addendum to allow children, prams and furniture into the property, it’s an unfurnished family sized home so is likely the tenants will need to bring furniture children and prams (buggy) inside.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Logical.Lean View Post
          I use a modified version of the one on gov.uk

          Modified in what way? You’ve edited it to include your own clauses etc or shortened the document?

          Comment


            #6
            These days, what the agent uses (multiple agents). Risky, probably unwise. It took me 2 years to persuade them to change their boilerplate which meant no rent was due. (English agent & tenancy, but my address for the service of notices as my then home in Scotland: Doh!)
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by BTL investor View Post


              Modified in what way? You’ve edited it to include your own clauses etc or shortened the document?
              I added some bits about no smoking and removed the bits about eviction relating to if I'd previously lived there.

              Comment


                #8
                While the government form is a bit cumbersome it has the benefit of being sound. The temptation to amend it should be resisted as it risks disturbing its integrity. The only exception should be the inclusion of a new clause which deals with something straightforward which is of a particular concern, such as banning smoking.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yes, mine is based on the Which? template, modified to include property-specific clauses (such as clauses in the lease), and updated for changes in the law.

                  I expect to spend 30+ hours a year reviewing and maintaining it.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by MdeB View Post
                    Yes, mine is based on the Which? template, modified to include property-specific clauses (such as clauses in the lease), and updated for changes in the law.
                    I have a copy of The Which? Guide to Renting and Letting, but it is over 20 years old. I read the precedents when I bought the book and they came over as fit-for-purpose. So far as I can tell from Googling the guide is no longer published, at least not under that title. Are you using a recent version?

                    A counsel of perfection is not to use a standard form designed with freehold houses in mind for leasehold flats, or indeed leasehold houses, but to get a conveyancer to draft a tailor-made precedent for each different form of lease. The national chain of estate agents I used to act for had a strict rule: If letting a leasehold property you must tell the client his conveyancer needs to draft the tenancy agreement.

                    Originally posted by MdeB View Post
                    I expect to spend 30+ hours a year reviewing and maintaining it.
                    As I said above, care needs to be taken when amending a precedent with pedigree. If something is in a precedent or worded in a particular way there is probably a good reason for it. The classic change I have seen made more than once is where you have a clause which requires the tenant to keep the interior in repair except where the damage is covered by the landlord's insurance. At first glance the exception may look like it prejudices the landlord, but it is a mistake to delete it because it may prejudice a claim.

                    When considering whether a precedent is adequate there are three overlapping aspects:

                    1. On an initial reading does it come across as a good piece of writing? Is it grammatical? Is the text consistent in style? Are unnecessary repetitions avoided? Do the clauses appear to be grouped according to some sort of plan? If the answer to any of those questions is "no" then it is a strong indication that the precedent should be avoided. You do not need to be a lawyer to assess this aspect.

                    2. Is the document legally cohesive? If all the questions posed in 1 are answered "yes" it is not a guarantee that you have a good precedent. I have often said that drafting legal documents is trickier than people think; it is equally true that assessing whether a legal document is adequate is trickier than people think. The same skills apply to both drafting and approving legal documents. Whether skilled legal draftsmen are born or made is an interesting question, but even born lawyers need experience to hone their skills. A lawyer approaches a document in a different way to a non-lawyer and brings his experience to bear. An experienced lawyer will get a feeling when something is not right. He is constantly thinking back to what he has read. I am not saying that only lawyers are capable of interpreting legal documents, just that it is unwise for non-lawyers to think that all you need to assess a legal document is a certain degree of literacy.

                    3. Does the document have in it what it should have in it? That is a question which can only be answered if you have the relevant legal knowledge.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post

                      I have a copy of The Which? Guide to Renting and Letting, but it is over 20 years old. Are you using a recent version?
                      I started with that one.
                      Later version did not have the "sample agreements", but had the clauses scattered through the book.

                      Modifications I have made have been due to:
                      1. Changes in the law (e.g. deposit protection; consent not to be unreasonably withheld)
                      2. Tenants obligations, as experience taught me the myriad tings that tenants thought were acceptable.
                      3. Property-specific covenants in deeds and leases (in a separate schedule so I knew they were non-negotiable)
                      4. Assessing against NLA and Government Model Tenancy Agreements.

                      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                      If something is in a precedent or worded in a particular way there is probably a good reason for it.
                      My life experiences prior to becoming a landlord showed the value of not changing anything unless it was fully understood. I have tried to be careful.

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