OpenRent Community

Tenancy Agreements

Hi all, I often read replies from fellow landlords that offer good advice and solutions to problems and questions that have been posted. Quite often it is suggested that a clause/s should be added the the tenancy agreement to stop that problem occuring again, but then someone else would say that “that’s not enforceable in law”, so waste of time adding it? Is there such a thing as an AST that contains all of the reasonable, fair, sensible and legally enforceable clauses? or do I have to add them myself? Where can I get a good, up to date, current AST template, and what clauses should it contain or should I add?
Many thanks, Alex.

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I hear of new clauses that people want to add all the time, so I don’t think it would ever be possible to have a definitive list. Its not advisable to draft your own clauses anyway unless you know exactly what you’re doing as it can clash with the main tenancy agreement and/or cause adverse consequences. Amateur drafting of legal documents is never advised. They may also be unenforceable, as you say. Really the only way to know the difference yourself is to do some training/intensive reading. I would suggest you join the NRLA and check any additional clauses with them.

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Hi Alex, glad to hear you find the Community helpful.

I’m sure this isn’t what you mean, but it’s worth saying that more clauses doesn’t necessarily mean a better AST or more protections for the landlord.

We have designed the OpenRent tenancy agreement (available to landlords who use our tenancy setup service) to be the best ‘vanilla’ tenancy agreement around. It is legally sound and provides a tenancy agreement that will work in as many scenarios are possible.

There are always common terms that many (but crucially not all) landlords will want to include, such as a clause giving permission for the tenant to keep an existing pet in the property. We offer landlords the chance to add these as a ‘custom clause’.

But in a lot of cases, a sensible clause for one tenancy simply won’t make sense for another tenancy, and therefore should not be in the ‘vanilla’ template. For example, my tenancy agreement forbids me to make changes to the gas meters. But in a property which is not supplied by gas, that would be meaningless and should not be included.

Adding all the clauses that you need may require a bit of planning, but the OpenRent AST is a very solid foundation indeed, and has been used in tens of thousands of tenancies in the UK over the last 10 years.

I hope this helps. I’d be interested to hear what other landlords think, too!

Sam

Sam, your tenancy clause banning you from changing the gas meter is almost certainly unenforceable and is perhaps a good example of the points I was raising.

Good point David, but why would any landlord want to stop their tenant getting a better deal on gas and electric, if it was dependent upon a meter change and at no charge to the landlord?

Some landlords prefer to keep pay as you go meters in their properties or conversely, don’t want the tenant to change to a payg meter. However, the tenant has the right to change it and change supplier, (another thing that some landlords try to ban).