Residential tenancy agreement
- Length:14 pages (3500 words)
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About this document
This document is long version of a legally binding written tenancy agreement drawn to give the landlord maximum control over the terms of the tenancy while keeping in mind a fair deal for the tenant. At just short of 2000 words in plain English, this agreement will reduce the grounds for complaints and misunderstandings with your tenants because your legal position will be fully covered.
As a landlord, you will know that the purpose of an agreement is to protect you against whatever might go wrong. The more comprehensive a document is, the more it defines rights (in this agreement, favouring you as a landlord) and leaves less room for subjective interpretation by your tenant or a judge. You can use this document for any kind of property (house, apartment, townhouse etc), it could be furnished or unfurnished. One landlord can also use this tenancy agreement template for multiple properties that he or she has rented out. The template holds the tenants jointly and severally liable for the tenancy (all tenants are jointly responsible for payment of rent and not individual shares).
The law in this document
This document is compliant with the:
- Residential Tenancies Act 2004
- Housing (Rent Books) Regulations 1993
- Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015
- Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019
- Residential Tenancies (No.2) Act 2021
- Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2021
When to use this document
This agreement can be used:
- When you are renting out your property for the first time.
- When you have bought a property for the specific reason to rent out and make more income.
- When you have recently moved and have found a suitable property to live in.
- When you want to incorporate specific conditions in your tenancy agreement for example, relating to smoking, use of the washing machine for specific hours, pets etc.
Features and contents of this document
Basic tenancy provisions
- Guarantor: essential if tenant is not in full employment
- Agent: should the landlord wish to appoint someone to act on his behalf
- Rent payable: by default paid monthly in advance, but the terms can be changed
- Deposit by tenant
- Landlord's access: to view or show prospective lenders or buyers
- Landlord's choice of 30 tenant's “promises” setting out what tenant can and cannot do
- An inventory (provided in the document, with explanatory notes on how to use)
- A rent book to comply with the law
- Break clause
- Fair to both parties but drawn primarily to protect the interest of the landlord. It is for a tenant to challenge those paragraphs which may not suit his circumstances
What is residential tenancy agreement?
It is a contract which sets out the relationship of the landlord and tenant when a residential property is rented out. It states the tenancy rights and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord so there is clarity in what the parties owe each other and also the interests of the landlord and tenant can be protected if a dispute arises in the future.
What are the different types of tenancy agreements?
There are two types of it:
- Fixed term tenancy agreement
- Periodic tenancy agreement
A fixed term tenancy agreement or a fixed term lease is for a specific time period (from 6 months to many years).
A periodic tenancy agreement or a periodic lease does not specify a time period and the duration of the tenancy is based on a period for example, yearly, monthly or weekly.
Does the landlord have the right to keep the deposit?
No, the landlord does not have a right to keep the deposit. It belongs to the tenant. Where there is no dispute, the landlord must return the deposit to the tenant within 14 days of the tenant vacating the property (so long as the landlord knows the tenant has departed). It is therefore important that the time frames which you decide upon, in which the landlord should be able to access the property to assess damage is enough so that the landlord can pay the tenant within 14 days.
However, there are some situations in which the landlord may deduct a sum from the amount of deposit.
- If the tenant does not pay the rent.
- If the tenant damages the property in any way
- If the tenant terminates the tenancy before the end of the fixed term tenancy.
- If utility have not been paid
Can my landlord live with me under a tenancy agreement?
If your landlord lives with you, then it is not a tenancy agreement. It is a “licence to occupy”. If your rental property is a room in your landlord’s home then you do not have the protection of the law.
If you are looking for such a document then we also offer a lodger agreement. The difference between a tenancy agreement and a lodger agreement is that of a basic lease agreement or a licence:
- The landlord does not have a legal obligation to provide the tenant with a rent book
- The landlord does not have to ensure that the property meets the minimum physical standard
- The landlord will only need to give a reasonable notice to terminate the licence
- The landlord does not need to register the lodger agreement
Can I ask my landlord for a rent review?
Yes, the general rule is that a tenant or a landlord can request a rent review. That can result in an increase or reduction in the rent. However, Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) and areas outside RPZ have different rules for rent reviews.
In any event, the landlord cannot charge more than 'market rent', which is the going rate for your type of accommodation in the area.
Do I need to register the residential tenancy agreement?
Yes, the landlord is required to register residential tenancy agreements with the Residential Tenancies Board annually. You must register the agreement within a month of the date at which it began, each year. Otherwise you will have to pay a fine.
Can my landlord evict me from my rented accommodation without any reason?
The landlord can give a valid written notice of termination of 90 days within the first six months of the tenancy to terminate the tenancy without any reason. However, if the landlord is evicting you through force or intimidation for example, cutting out the utilities or changing lock, then the tenant can seek a recourse through the Residential Tenancies Board. If the Board finds the landlord guilty of illegal termination then it can allow the tenant to re-enter the property and have the landlord pay damages too.
What are the valid reasons to terminate the tenancy?
During the first six months, a landlord can terminate the tenancy without reason. However, for the remainder of the term, the rights of the landlord (but not of the tenant) to terminate the tenancy are restricted, and the landlord can only end a tenancy on limited grounds set out in sec 34 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. Example:
- If the tenant is in breach of their obligations under the agreement
- If the landlord wants to use the property for themselves or for an immediate member of their family
- If the landlord intends to change the purpose of the property
- If the landlord intends to renovate the property
Similar terms for residential tenancy agreement:
You can also search for this document by using the following terms:
- Tenancy agreement
- Private lease agreement
- Residential lease agreement
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