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New research has shown that 58% of landlords who have previously rented out a property have either just adapted an old tenancy agreement contract the next time they have come to rent their residence out or have updated a template they have found online. A dangerous game to play if you ask our Dispute Resolution team who have seen an increase in tenancy disputes over the recent years. Using an old contract or a template may mean that landlords are asking their tenants to sign legal documents that aren’t actually legally compliant.

The research, conducted by Direct Line for Business, also found that 10% of private landlords in the UK have no formal tenancy agreement at all! Using or adapting an old tenancy agreement is hazardous but having no tenancy agreement at all really is asking for a dispute!

The rise in rental disputes

The majority of landlords use a letting agent the first time they go to rent out a residential property, but it seems that second time around the landlord believes they have a good grasp of what they need to do and decide to save costs, go it alone and deal with the tenant directly. This makes good sense on the surface yet it could well cost much more money in the future when a dispute arises from an incorrectly drafted or out-of-date contract.

In the last two years, 13% of landlords have experienced a dispute which has arisen specifically from a rental contract with a tenant. The only way to avoid this is to have a professional review your tenancy agreement.

It has also come to light that 9% of landlords haven’t informed their tenants about the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. It is now a legal requirement of all landlords to inform tenants that their deposit has been put into a government guaranteed TDP within 30 days of taking the deposit. They must provide both the name and contact details of who is holding the money. Failure to do this may mean that you are liable for a litigation dispute.

Why is having a legally compliant contract important?

A contract between the landlord and the tenant means that you are both protected; the expectations have been set and each party knows where they stand and what they can refer to, all of which helps to reduce the number of disputes. Using a template or adapting an old contract leaves you open to mistakes with the possibility of it either not being relevant or up-to-date with new legislation that might have been brought in during the meantime. It’s much better to cover your own back and get a professional to look over the agreement so you know everything is watertight.

If you need a tenancy agreement contract drafting or looking over give our specialist team a call on 0343 507 5151. You can also send any queries to enquiries@gorvins.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.