Forest Hill Tenancy Agreement
It will probably come as little surprise to learn that more and more investors are opting to become landlords. After all, with a stock market that has proved volatile in recent years, with many people losing after the crash of 2008, investors are taking greater care to ensure that their funds are in a safe environment. With confidence in the stock market wavering for some, the housing market has never looked more appealing, and rightfully so. If you haven’t considered investing in property, maybe now is the time.
Hunters Forest Hill have put together this short guide to assist you in understanding the important legal documents that you must complete in the event of letting out your property. It will also give you some guidance with regards to property prices in the area.
When letting a property, the primary document is the tenancy agreement. A legally binding contract, this document will list every condition of the let and must be signed by both the landlord and the tenant.
There are various types of tenancy agreement, however, the most common is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement or AST. This agreement will list all the rights of both parties, such as the commencement date of agreement, end date and the rent payable.
While the agreement will state ‘shorthold tenancy’ it is important to note that the length of agreement is not limited to a short amount of time. The agreement can continue for as long a period as both parties wish. Note – if the rental agreement does extend past three years, the law states that a solicitor must be hired to draw up a relevant document.
While there is no minimum term, the tenant has the right to reside within the property for at least six months. What’s more, if at any point after six months, you, the landlord wish to end the agreement, you will generally be required to give two months’ notice.
The most important information that the AST will contain includes the following:
Landlord’s full name
Tenant’s full name
Address of property
The date when the tenancy will commence
The duration of the tenancy
The amount of rent payable, including details of how and when it should be paid
What other payments are expected of the tenant, including utilities bills and Council Tax
The landlord inventory lists the contents of your property. The document will include the condition of the property and any furnishings or other property that may be included within the rental agreement. Before moving in, it is essential that you go through each item within the property with your new tenant and agree that the document is accurate. Once this is done both parties must sign the agreement and keep a copy for reference.
With the exception of obvious wear and tear, it is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure that when the rental agreement concludes, that they return the property to you in the same condition.
It is normal when letting a property to require the tenant to pay a reasonable deposit. The deposit essentially has two purposes. The first being to ensure that there is adequate remuneration in the event that the property is returned with any damage or in need of excessive cleaning. The second reason is in the unlikely event that the tenant leaves without fulfilling their rental payment obligations.
It is the responsibility of the landlord to provide a receipt when a deposit is paid as well as a document specifying what the deposit is for. On occasion, a tenancy will end and the landlord may deem it justifiable to retain a part or all of the deposit. If this happens the landlord must inform the tenant at the earliest opportunity. This must be done in writing and the landlord should include receipts for work carried out, or quotes if work has not been completed.
If the tenant vacates the property and leaves it in the condition which it was let without any rent arrears, it is the landlord’s duty to return the deposit as quickly as possible. This should take no longer than one month.
For further information on providing health and safety documentation see our Lettings Guide.
Property Prices in Forest Hill
The current average house price in the Forest Hill area is £601,767
By property type, the average values of Harrogate houses break down like this: