Free Tenancy Agreement

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Tenancy Agreement



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Last Updated December 21, 2023

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What is a Tenancy Agreement?

A Tenancy Agreement is a contract that outlines the terms of a residential tenancy, including the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant(s).

Our template allows you to customise a lease to your specific rental situation, whether it be a fixed-term or automatic tenancy (also known as a rolling, periodic, or month-to-month tenancy). It may be used when renting out a house, flat, house share, flat share, or room.

Depending on where you live, a Tenancy Agreement can also be referred to as a:

  • Assured shorthold tenancy agreement
  • Short-term tenancy agreement
  • Landlord tenancy agreement
  • Letting agreement
  • Rental agreement
  • Occupation contract (Wales)

You can customise our template for residential tenancies in England, Wales, Scotland, and  Northern Ireland. If you create an agreement for England or Wales, it will be an assured shorthold tenancy (AST).

If renting a business property, use a Commercial Tenancy Agreement instead.

Benefits of using a Tenancy Agreement

Despite not always being a legal requirement, using a Tenancy Agreement can be beneficial for many reasons, such as the following:

  1. It provides clarity and prevents disputes: Using a Tenancy Agreement clarifies the landlord and tenant’s obligations. When there is an issue, such as a repair, you can prevent a dispute and determine responsibility by referencing the agreement.
  2. It proves each party agreed to the terms: With a signed agreement, you and the other party are bound to your obligations. Your signatures prove both of you agreed to and acknowledged the terms of the agreement.
  3. It legally protects landlords and tenants: A properly executed agreement safeguards both landlords and tenants. If you end up in a legal dispute, the written lease may help you prove your case.

Who should use a Tenancy Agreement?

Any person renting residential property to or from someone else needs a Tenancy Agreement. For example, the following individuals or organisations will find this document useful:

  • Homeowners looking for a temporary tenant
  • Individuals who own a rental property
  • Tenants moving into a new place
  • Letting agents and tenant placement services
  • Landlords renting a home to family or friends
  • Individuals who want to rent with an option to purchase

What is included in a Tenancy Agreement?

A standard Tenancy Agreement should include the following things:

  • Landlord and tenant details, including names and contact information
  • Property details, such as the address
  • Lease specifics, such as the term and start date
  • Rent payment details, such as the amount, frequency, due dates, late fees, and acceptable forms of payment
  • Security deposit information, such as the amount and rules for returning the deposit
  • Utility information, such as whether they are included in the rent
  • Rights and obligations for the landlord and tenant

A standard tenancy can also specify whether a tenant will have access to parking or early possession and can outline rules for a tenant regarding smoking, pets, maintenance, and insurance.

It can outline rules for a landlord regarding increasing rent, entering the property, terminating the tenancy, and completing inspection reports.

Our template allows you to create a more comprehensive Tenancy Agreement which includes additional clauses regarding:

  • Tenants operating a home business
  • Tenants having a guarantor
  • Landlords providing a furnished rental property
  • Landlords using a property manager

Do all tenants need to be on the Tenancy Agreement?

To be legally considered a tenant and obligated to pay rent, a person must sign the Tenancy Agreement. If multiple tenants want to be bound to a Tenancy Agreement’s terms, all their names and signatures need to be included within the contract.

If an adult lives in the rental property but is not on the Tenancy Agreement, they are considered an occupant, not a tenant. Any minors living on the property are also occupants.

When does a Tenancy Agreement become legally binding?

A Tenancy Agreement becomes legally binding once all parties have signed it.

Can you change or update a Tenancy Agreement?

Yes, after you’ve created and signed a Tenancy Agreement, you can amend it with a Lease Addendum. It allows a landlord and tenant to make changes instead of having to create an entirely new agreement.

How do I get out of a Tenancy Agreement early?

Generally, the first step in attempting to break a fixed-term tenancy (where nobody has violated the tenancy terms) would be to discuss the situation with the other party. If both parties consent to end the lease early, it can be terminated with a Termination Agreement.

If terminating a lease is not an option, subletting or assigning may be a good alternative for both parties.

To sublet a rental property, a tenant must create a Sublet Agreement and sign it with their landlord and the subtenant. The original tenant remains liable for the obligations stated in the original lease agreement.

Assigning a Tenancy Agreement means transferring lease interest to a new tenant. Unlike subletting, assigning means the original tenant gives away their rights and obligations to the new tenant. To assign a Tenancy Agreement, the parties use a Tenancy Assignment Agreement to outline the arrangement.

Related documents

  • Rental Inspection Report: Inspect your rental property before a tenant moves in and after they move out to assess any damages.
  • Residential Tenancy Application: Collect information to screen potential tenants for a rental property.
  • Commercial Letting/Business Lease: Lease a commercial space to a business tenant by outlining both of your rights, duties, and responsibilities.
  • Residential Sublet Agreement: Rent out a portion or all of the property you're renting to another tenant for a certain period of time.
  • Eviction and Lease Notices: Notify your tenant with landlord notices such as Eviction Notice, Notice of Lease Violation, Notice of Termination, Demand for Compliance or Possession, and Notice to Pay Rent.
  • Rent Increase Notice: Inform tenants about a change in rent charges and fulfil your obligation to provide an appropriate notice period.
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Tenancy Agreement

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