Describing the property correctly in the tenancy agreement
This sounds obvious but you need to be careful. If you get a court order for possession, you don’t want the bailiffs to evict the people living next door!
Put the full address, including the postcode, and be careful to get the spelling right.
Then you need to think about what the tenancy includes. Many properties, particularly flats, will have a designated parking area. This can usefully be included in the description of the property. Also if there is a garage included.
Or is something is being excluded from the tenancy? For example are you are retaining a room or outhouse for your own use? Sometimes landlords keep a room for storage, or rent out the garage separately, to someone else.
If so, you should mention this on the tenancy, otherwise, you could be in difficulties. Note that if you retain a room for your own use, you should also provide in the terms and conditions for arrangements for access. (Note – take a look at this post first about Council tax)
Sometimes a property will be subject to a right of way. For example in some parts of the country, back gardens are bisected by a footpath to other properties. Again, it is best to mention this in the tenancy agreement so there can be no argument.
In the Landlord Law tenancy agreements, we have a special section after the property address for this sort of thing.
Tenancies for a room in a shared house
If you are letting out individual rooms in a shared house, make sure that the rooms are identifiable.
Usually, people either give them a number or describe their location in the house (‘attic bedroom’, ‘ground floor rear bedroom’, etc). Once you have done this, it is best not to change them. For example if, due to a room name change, it looks to the benefit office as if you are claiming twice for the same room, they will stop making payments.
You might also want to specify what rooms tenants can use. Or areas they do not have access to. If these things are written in the tenancy agreement, it saves arguments later.
It is probably also worth mentioning that if in a shared house, a tenant moves from on room to another, that is a new tenancy and needs a new tenancy agreement.
Next week I will be discussing matters relating to rent.
NB Find out more about my Tenancy Agreement Service on Landlord Law
All Landlord Law tenancy agreements have a special section for further information about the property. There are also separate agreements specially designed for renting a room in a shared house.