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Pre-tenancy advice

Tenancy agreement

Tenants should be given a copy of a tenancy agreement. A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract which sets out the legal terms and conditions of the tenancy. A verbal or written agreement are both valid however the terms of a verbal agreement can be questioned so a written agreement is recommended and easier to enforce.

As a minimum, the tenancy agreement should contain the following:

  • the names of the landlord, tenant and all persons involved
  • the address of the property
  • the start and end date of the tenancy
  • information on the rental amount, how it will be paid and review dates
  • the amount of deposit made and the scheme under which it will be protected
  • details of when the deposit can be withheld due to events such as damages
  • which bills the tenant will be responsible for
  • any tenant or landlord obligations.

All terms of the tenancy must be fair and comply with the law.

Please note: charges may be incurred if correct notice is not given by each party to end the tenancy. The tenancy can be ended earlier if agreed by both parties.

For more information regarding tenancy agreements, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Visit the gov.uk website for information regarding model tenancy agreements.


If your tenancy started after 6 April 2007 and you paid your landlord a deposit it needs to be protected in a Deposit Protection Scheme. Your landlord should pay the deposit into an approved scheme and give you information about which scheme they have used. Your deposit needs to be protected within 30 days of you paying it to your landlord.

When you eventually move out of the property you should speak to your landlord and agree the amount of the deposit that you will get back. The landlord will usually want to visit the property after you have moved out before they will agree this figure. Once the amount is agreed the landlord should pay it to you within 10 days. All schemes provide a free dispute resolution service.

A dated property information form detailing the condition of the property contents prior to the start of the tenancy can be useful in order to decide whether the deposit may be withheld. A signed copy by both tenant and landlord can assist with any disputes that may arise.

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information about the Deposit Protection Scheme.

How to rent and right to rent

From 1 October 2015 landlords must issue tenants with the how to rent guide. Visit the GOV.UK website for the how to rent guide. It is aimed at tenants and landlords in the private rented sector and has been created to help them to understand their rights and responsibilities. It includes key information on what to look out for before renting, living in a rented home, the process at the end of the tenancy and what to do if something goes wrong.

Under the new Government ‘Right to rent’ Legislation which came into effect from the 1 February 2016, every landlord must check the original identification documents for each person over the age of 18 living in their property. To ensure that landlords are operating in line with this Legislation, they will need to see each person with their identification intending to live in their property over the age of 18. A passport (current or expired) or a National Identity Card (current or expired) will be required. If you do not have either of these documents you will need to provide a full birth or adoption certificate along with a current full or provisional photo card UK driving licence. Visit the GOV.UK website for more information on the right to rent documents.

Last updated: 09/01/2023 15:35