Now you have your tenancy agreement you’ll need to make sure that it contains everything you need.
The agreement should list all the standard clauses (see our previous article called Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement – what to look out for), and if there have been any special conditions agreed between you and the landlord, they should be included in an additional section at the end. These “Special Conditions” are sometimes referred to as “Riders”.
Special conditions over-ride any earlier clause that might be contradictory, however, they are not enforceable if they take away your statutory rights.
Here below are some of the most often used special conditions – feel free to use them if you like!
The tenancy agreement will be for a specific length of time usually 6 months or a year. Neither the tenant or the landlord can end the tenancy early unless there is a break clause . There are 3 main types of break clause – these are:
- Business Break Clause – this allows you to exit the tenancy if your work place or situation changes
- Reciprocal Break Clause – this allows both you and the landlord to exit the tenancy
- Tenant Only Break Clause – this allows only the tenant to exit the tenancy
We would always try to negotiate a Tenant only break clause for our client and typically, this is what it looks like:
The Landlord agrees that the Tenant has the right to terminate the Tenancy after the first <<insert period>> by giving the Landlord not less than <<insert period>> notice in writing to be served by first class post or hand delivery to the address specified in clause (insert clause number) of the Agreement, to end the Tenancy. The notice must be served prior to the date upon which it takes effect but cannot take effect any earlier than (date) and cannot expire any earlier than (date). Such notice must expire at the end of a relevant period, being the <<insert date>> day of the month. When the notice period expires the Agreement shall cease. This does not affect the right of either the Landlord or the Tenant to pursue their legal remedies against the other for any existing breach of any rights under the Agreement.
Option to Renew
An Option to renew your tenancy gives you, the tenant , the legal right to extend your tenancy as long as you follow the conditions set out in the clause – specifically the notice period. Make sure you give notice on time and in writing. Notice received outside of the designated period may be refused by your landlord.
Our option to renew looks like this:
The landlord agrees that the tenant may extend the tenancy for a further period of one year from <insert the date> upon the Tenant giving to the Landlord or Landlord’s Agent a minimum of sixty days written notice. The renewed tenancy will contain the like obligations and provisions as are herein contained. The Rent will increase in line with the Retail Price Index (with the minimum of 3% and a maximum of 8%).
If your landlord has agreed to you keeping a pet or pets at the property then you should have a pet clause included in the tenancy agreement’s special conditions.
It is standard practice to increase your deposit – usually from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. The pet clause will almost certainly require the tenant to carry out a de-infestation clean at the end of the tenancy to ensure that all traces of pet infestation/hair/smells, etc. are removed from the property.
A typical pet clause looks like this:
The landlord agrees that the tenant may keep at the property <insert amount, type and name of pets>
The tenant agrees to
- pay for the Premises to be professionally cleaned with de-infestation cleaner at the end of the Tenancy if de-infestation is necessary in addition to any obligation under clause <<insert number>> of this Agreement. The Tenant will be liable to compensate the Landlord for any losses suffered due to flea infestation by an animal of the Tenant, his family or his visitors.
- To take reasonable steps to keep the animal known as <<insert animal name>> under control during the Tenancy.
- To keep the garden free of fouling by the animal during the Tenancy
Upgrade to property
If you have negotiated an upgrade to the property such as some decorating work or new carpets etc. it is important that the details of this are included in a clause or series of clauses within Special Conditions. The clause(s) should state exactly what is to be done, to what standard or quality, by when and by whom. You should also ensure that the clause(s) covers what happens if, when you move in, the work has not been completed.
Remember; anything at all which has been agreed between you and the landlord at the time of your offer on the property, should be included in the tenancy agreement. If it’s not in the main body of the contract, it should sit under the separate heading of “special conditions”.