For most HMO landlords in England, tenancy agreements will be ASTs (Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements). Individual ASTs can be signed with every single tenant or, alternatively, it’s possible to have a single AST for a group of tenants. In general, though, individual contracts are most popular.
How to draw up a HMO tenancy agreement is a question we are often asked, and, as you would expect, there are key clauses that you should include. Here, we’ll look at some of them.
- All Parties’ Personal Details
Your contract must clearly define all parties to a tenancy agreement, setting out names and details like their previous addresses. Both your own and your tenants’ details must be outlined in the agreement. If someone else is providing a deposit, their details may be included too.
- The Property Details
The address of the property must be included in the contract along with the start and end date of the tenancy.
- Deposit Information
It’s standard to request a deposit from your tenant when they sign their tenancy agreement. This is security should they cause any damage or fail to make a payment. Your agreement should outline the amount of the deposit as well as how it will be protected.
- The Rent
Your agreement must clearly state the amount, where, when, and to whom the rent must be paid. Also state what happens if there are rent areas, and the amount of interest charged on late payments. If your tenant has a guarantor, their details must be in the agreement too.
- List of Landlord Obligations
It’s a HMO landlord’s responsibility to keep all communal facilities and areas clean and maintained. It’s also the responsibility of the HMO landlord to carry out gas safety checks every year and ensure that copies of the certificate are displayed in the property’s communal area and sent to the council. An electrical safety inspection must be performed at least every 5 years, with electric fixture checks made over the tenancy’s course. Landlords also need to adhere to all fire safety regulations. The landlord must also ensure that certain fixtures like sinks, cooking instruments, cupboards, refrigerators, worktops, extractor fans, fire doors and blankets, among other things, are in place. Landlords are also responsible for paying council tax, although the amount can be reflected in the rent charged to the tenants. Landlords must list all the bills that are included in the rent on the agreement to avoid any disagreements.
- Tenant Behaviour Guidelines
Some classic clauses to add to an AST regarding tenant behaviour include those that prohibit trade or business from your property, a requirement to use your property with due care and to maintain its cleanliness. There should also be prohibitions on illegal activities and antisocial behaviours such as harassment and excess noise. Many landlords add clauses to prohibit smoking to their contracts.
- Access and Notice Periods
The notice period required for vacating the tenancy must be outlined clearly as well as where and how notice should be served. It’s also important to outline how access by the HMO landlord can be gained, giving details specific about notice periods. A clause stating that access can’t be denied for the completion of legally required checks and tasks should also be included.
If you’re looking for an easier way to manage your HMO property in England look no further than The HMO Network. We are experts in the HMO property management sector and can help you with every element of HMO property management including HMO tenancy agreements. Get in touch with us today on 01245 835859 or email@example.com to learn more.