As every prospective landlord and tenant probably finds, patience is a great virtue unless you’re keen to get moving. First time landlords are pleased to learn that the residential letting process runs relatively smoothly having very straightforward agency and tenancy agreements. There is therefore rarely a reason why a tenant should not take up tenancy within seven working days of submitting their application. Occasionally we are asked to rush through an application, and it has been known for a tenant to move in only two days after viewing a property! But fortunately not every tenant is ready to move that quickly, or is able to complete all their paperwork, or we would be burning the midnight oil every night!
Here at The Letting People both company lets and assured shorthold tenancies regular go through the paperwork process. We have also completed successful house-share agreements. These are three very different tenancies that landlords often ask us to explain in more detail. (Other tenancy agreements are extremely rare these days but details are available from most legal advisors.)
There are several ways a landlord can speed up the paperwork process in order to start the new tenancy as soon as possible:
The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is currently the most common tenancy agreement. This agreement gives both the landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities. It gives both parties reassurance of a tenancy for a minimum period of six months (although this is often extended to a 12 months). We always send a draft tenancy agreement for the landlord to check through and make any amendments – so getting any changes back to us without delay will certainly speed up the process.
The Company Let Agreement This is when the tenant is a company who pays the rent and takes the responsibility for the tenancy. (The occupier of the property is responsible to the company with whatever agreement they have in place between them.) Each company can provide their own tenancy agreement (although we have standard company let agreements) and these can have quite onerous landlord responsibilities. Again, we would send a draft out for the landlord’s approval, and often the company will not sign the agreement until after it has been signed by the landlord or agent.
House-share agreements are used when there are shared areas of a house with both the landlord and tenant living in the same property. The properties we have let on this basis tend to be large Victorian houses with a converted attic which offers the tenant complete privacy, apart from a shared front door, hallway and staircase. Both landlord and tenant tend to have fewer rights on these agreements as many responsibilities can be particular to each individual tenancy. (for example it is common for household bills to be included in the rent). Again, We would ask the landlord to return their draft agreement with any amendments they require before the start of the tenancy.
The Agency Agreement This is basically the agreement made between the landlord and ourselves which agrees the terms of how the property will be let. These should be completed and signed by all owners of the property before the tenancy commences. We will require proof of the ownership so we can ensure that all the owners of the property are happy to proceed with a tenancy of their property.
Providing that all safety certificates are in place that is basically all the paperwork that the landlord needs to check and complete before the start of a straightforward residential tenancy. Additionally, landlords who want their property to be managed would have to provide property information – but this can usually all be dealt with within a week. So, if you would like your property tenanted before Christmas, let us know and we will do our best to get all the paperwork sorted out quickly.