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One in 10 landlords don’t use contracts

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Written by:
06/04/2016
A worrying number of landlords have no formal tenancy agreements in place, leaving them and their tenants exposed
One in 10 landlords don’t use contracts

One in 10 private landlords has no formal tenancy contract in place with their tenants, according to research by Direct Line for Business.

Research from the landlord insurance provider exposed that even where contracts are in place, landlords may be using documents that are not legally binding. Of the landlords who don’t use a letting agent, 58% admitted they used adapted tenancy agreements from either old agent contracts or other landlords (38%) or an updated template they found online (20%).

Recycled contracts

The lack of professionally reviewed tenancy agreements may explain why more than one in eight (13%) landlords have experienced disputes specifically arising from tenants’ rental contracts in the last two years.

A further 9% of landlords said they have not informed their tenants that their deposit is held in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP), despite this being a legal requirement.

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “Tenants and landlords need a contract in place to protect both their interests. Contracts, deposits and deposit protection all help to make clear what is expected from each party when renting a property, and which can help minimise disputes where possible.

“If an old contract is adapted it may not comply with new legislation or be relevant for the current market. Given the volume of disputes arising from tenancy agreements it’s important to get the contract seen by a legal professional before it’s signed.”

Direct Line for Business has launched a new Legal Documents service, which provides a range of legal documents including tenancy agreements and repossession notices. To ensure the documents are legally compliant, landlords can send them at no extra cost to MyLawyer Solicitors LLP, a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulated law firm, which will conduct a review, answer any questions and make any necessary amendments, all within three working days.

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