Creating your tenancy

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England Wales

Once you have found a suitable tenant, the next step is to sign them up to a tenancy agreement. This agreement sets out the obligations that you and your tenant are expected to follow during the lifetime of the tenancy, so it is important that both parties understand what is expected of them. Having a clearly drafted tenancy agreement that matches the type of tenancy granted is the best way of ensuring both parties understand these obligations.

The NRLA has produced a number of tenancy agreements for you to use. These documents cover the various types of tenancy agreement that you are likely to use for a residential tenancy in the private rented sector.

Gain access to our vast library of resources, advice and guides by becoming a member today.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements (AST)

Last Updated: 02/02/2022

Introduced in the Housing Act 1988, the assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) is the default type of tenancy in England and Wales. If you are renting out a property to an individual as their main home then in most cases it will be an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. 


AST Agreements for the Whole Property

Last Updated: 02/02/2022

If you are renting out the whole property on one agreement this is called a joint tenancy. Under these agreements, every tenant who signs shares the obligation to pay the rent listed on the tenancy. Similarly, if one tenant damages the property or breaches the contract, then all tenants are liable for the loss you incur as a result of this.

The NRLA has produced two joint agreements; one for a group of sharers and another for families, couples or individuals. The agreements are fully compatible with Depositguard, Mydeposit, or Zero Deposit Guarantee.

Need to add clauses to the agreement? Download our Addendum document

Prove you have complied with your obligations using the Starting a Tenancy Checklist

AST Agreements for Individual Rooms

Last Updated: 02/02/2022

Landlords of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) often prefer to let out the property by each individual room. The tenant is given exclusive occupation of the room but control of the communal parts remains with the landlord. This makes it easier to access the property to perform your HMO management duties. It also means if one tenant leaves then the other tenants agreements are unaffected.

The NRLA has produced an AST agreement if you do want to rent out your property by the room. This agreement is fully compatible with Depositguard, Mydeposit, or Zero Deposit Guarantee.

Not sure if you have a HMO? Read our guide to HMO properties.

Need to add clauses to the agreement? Download our Addendum document

Prove you have complied with your obligations using the Starting a Tenancy Checklist

How to Rent Checklist for Landlords

Last Updated: 08/03/2022

If you are entering into an assured shorthold tenancy agreement then you are required to provide a copy of the latest version of 'How to rent: a checklist for renting in England' to all your tenants at the beginning of the tenancy. If you are renewing a tenancy and the document has been updated since then you are required to provide an updated copy at the point of renewal as well.

The document is regularly updated and the website does not keep older versions of the booklet on their site. As a result, if a landlord does not provide the copy at the outset of the tenancy they may miss the chance to serve the valid document. The NRLA has created an archive of older versions to ensure our members can always find the right document.

Guide to Contractual and Statutory Periodic Tenancies

Last Updated: 06/05/2022

At the end of the fixed term of your assured shorthold tenancy, your tenants will be entitled to remain on a rolling periodic contract until you or they bring the tenancy to an end. This periodic tenancy will either be created through the contract itself or, if your contract is silent on this, a statutory periodic tenancy. There are a number of ways in which the law treats these two types of periodic tenancy differently. This guide explains these differences.

Choosing between a joint and a room only tenancy agreement

Last Updated: 20/07/2021

If you are letting out a HMO then you will have to decide whether you want to let out the property on a joint and several tenancy or on a per room basis. 

This guide explains the key differences between the two types of AST to help you decide which option is right for you and your tenants.

Starting a tenancy checklist

New Tenancy Receipt Form

Last Updated: 27/01/2022

As a responsible landlord, you are expected to provide your tenants with a number of additional certificates and documents confirming you are compliant with the law. If you don't have proof these documents were served you may potentially be fined or you may lose your rights to serve a possession notice so it is important you document this.

To help you show that this has been done, the NRLA has produced a checklist for starting a tenancy that you can get your tenant to sign. This document is designed for use with an assured shorthold tenancy in England.


Addendum Agreement For Landlords

Last Updated: 27/10/2021

If you would like to add additional clauses to any of your agreements the best way to do this is via an addendum to the tenancy agreement. This document allows you to write your own clauses to supplement the ones in the NRLA agreement as well as providing some example clauses if you wish to add rent review clauses, have a HMO licence, and a number of other resources.

Preparing an inventory

Preparing and using an inventory

Last Updated: 05/03/2021

Preparing an inventory/schedule of condition is one of the best ways that you can protect yourself as a responsible landlord. By creating an accurate record of the condition of the property at the outset of the tenancy, you can show any deterioration at the end of the tenancy, and evidence damage to the deposit scheme if there is a dispute.

This page provides resources on performing an inventory and things to consider if you are using it to claim deductions from a deposit.

Want to perform the inventory check yourself? Download our inventory template.

Non-assured shorthold tenancies

When is my tenancy not an assured shorthold tenancy?

Last Updated: 21/07/2020

If you have created a tenancy in England since 15 January 1989 it is likely to be either an assured or assured shorthold tenancy if:

  • The rent is between £250 and £100,000 per annum
  • The tenants are people rather than an organisation such as a company or a charity
  • The property will be the tenant's main home
  • The landlord does not live in the same property as the tenant 

If it meets these conditions and you have not specifically stated that it will create an assured tenancy, then you will create an assured shorthold tenancy.

If your tenancy will not meet the above conditions then you are likely to have a non-assured tenancy. If you share living space with your tenants then this is likely to be an 'excluded' agreement with a lodger.

Guide to regulated tenancies

Last Updated: 02/03/2021

Prior to the introduction of assured and assured shorthold tenancies in 1989, regulated tenancies were the default type of tenancy in England and Wales. It is generally not possible to create new regulated tenants but these tenancies do still exist.

This guide covers some of the differences between regulated and assured tenancies.

Non-assured tenancies

Resident Landlord Agreement

Last Updated: 18/01/2022

If you live in the same building as your tenants but you do not share living space then usually you will not have an assured or assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Instead, you will have a non-assured agreement.

If you live in the same purpose-built block of flats as your tenants you should download an AST instead.

Need to add clauses to the agreement? Download our Addendum document

High Value Tenancy Agreement | Landlord Resources

Last Updated: 28/09/2020

If your tenants pay more than £100,000 per annum then you cannot have an assured or assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Instead you will have a non-assured tenancy agreement. This agreement includes additional protections to ensure that the value of the property you rent is not diminished during the tenant's stay in the property.

Need to add clauses to the agreement? Download our Addendum document

Letting to an organisation

A tenancy cannot be assured if it is let to a company or other organisation. As a result, if you do rent out to an organisation you will create a non-assured tenancy agreement. This means that you will have different rules and obligations placed upon you. For example, you do not need to protect the deposit in a Government-approved scheme.

You cannot use a Section 8 or Section 21 notice to bring the tenancy to an end. As the company may need to serve notice on their sub-tenant you should also make sure they are removing their tenants prior to the end of the agreement.

Company Let Agreement For Landlords

Last Updated: 09/02/2021

Typically these agreements are used where your agreement is with a company so that they can allow one of their employees to live in the property.

Need to add clauses to the agreement? Download our Addendum document

Agreement For Letting To A Charity

Last Updated: 27/10/2020

Similarly if you are renting out to a charitable organisation this must be a non-assured tenancy agreement and the same rules apply.

Need to add clauses to the agreement? Download our Addendum document

Excluded tenancies (lodgers)

Excluded Tenancy Agreement (Lodgers)

Last Updated: 16/09/2021

Most tenancies in the private rented sector have to abide by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This means that you must provide adequate notice to end the tenancy and you must have a court order to repossess the property if they do not leave at the end of the notice.

However, certain types of agreement are known as 'excluded tenancies' because they are excluded from these protections. The most common of these is an agreement with a lodger.

Tenant Welcome Letter

Tenants Welcome Letter Template

Last Updated: 21/07/2020

Successful property management begins with good documentation and you will want to give your new tenants as much information as possible to start your renting relationship off on the right foot.

The Tenant's Welcome Letter is an informal introduction to your tenant and lays down the foundation for a great landlord/tenant relationship. 

Further resources

We have a wide range of available resources on various topics relating to good tenancy management. For a full list of these resources please see our resources index.

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