Amending an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement

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    Amending an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement


    Just looking for some wisdom and guidance from knowledgeable people :-)

    My landlord and myself have agreed to amend my tenancy agreement (an Assured Shorthold) following some changes of circumstance. The changes were instigated by him, however I asked for the changes to be put in writing and amended on my contract, which he agreed to initially.

    However, he is now saying he will only amend a short section of my tenancy agreement and write "an official headed letter" using his business address for the rest. Naturally, I'm slightly hesitant.

    My questions are:

    1) Is a letter signed by himself as good in the eyes of the law or does the tenancy itself need to be altered for it to have any weight? Or is it essentially meaningless?
    2) Does he need to re-sign the tenancy for the changes to be valid? I will definitely sign a new copy.

    Any thoughts?

    Once a document has been signed it should not be altered later if the parties want to change its terms. The correct way to proceed is for the parties to sign a new document recording the changes. Such a document should be executed as a deed to ensure it is enforceable for lack of a consideration. If the document is not a deed or the changes are recorded in an exchange of letters, there is a risk that the changes will not be enforceable. However, when considering if an informal document or exchange of letters is enforceable the court will not always insist on formality, but decide the issue according to all the circumstances.

    How careful you are with supplemental agreements / side letters has to depend on how important they are to you.


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