Creating your tenancy agreement

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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 either use, or use as guidance for creating your own. 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 full access to our vast library of resources, advice, guides and tenancy agreements by becoming a member today.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement | AST Template & Form

Last Updated: 15/12/2022

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.


Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement For Whole Properties

Last Updated: 11/01/2024

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 AST 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.

You can also prove you have complied with your obligations using the Starting a Tenancy Checklist.


Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement Room Only & HMO

Last Updated: 01/12/2023

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 Renting in England for Landlords| NRLA

Last Updated: 02/10/2023

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: 16/01/2024

At the end of the fixed term of your assured shorthold tenancy agreement, 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. Our guide to contractual and statutory periodic tenancies explains these differences.

A Guide to Joint or Room Only Tenancy Agreements

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 agreements to help you decide which option is right for you and your tenants.

Starting a tenancy checklist

New Tenancy Receipt Form

Last Updated: 05/10/2022

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 To Tenancy Agreement Sample Template

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

Landlord Inventory | Tenancy Inventory Template for Rental

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: 14/07/2023

If you have created a tenancy agreement 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.

Regulated Tenancy Agreements, Explained

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.

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

Non-assured tenancies

Live In Landlord Tenancy Agreement | Resident Landlord Tenancy

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 agreement instead.

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


High Value Tenancy Agreement

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 need to 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: 24/11/2023

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.


Leasing Property 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 as letting to a company apply.

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


Excluded tenancies (lodgers)

Lodger Agreement Contract | Landlord Resources & Guides

Last Updated: 14/07/2023

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

Tenant Welcome Letter | Tenant Welcome Pack 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

In addition to these documents to help you create a tenancy, we also 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.


What is a tenancy agreement?

A tenancy agreement is a contract between a tenant and a landlord that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties. This includes things like the landlord’s right to receive rent, the tenant’s right to occupy the accommodation, who’s responsible for minor repairs and more.

Why is a tenancy agreement important?

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding document that protects both landlords and tenants should disputes arise down the line. They outline what’s expected of both parties, set clear boundaries, and ensure that both are protected should the other fail to comply with the agreed terms.

What does a tenancy agreement cover?

Tenancy agreements typically include the following:

  • The names of all parties
  • The rental price 
  • How the rent is paid
  • A clause on how and when the rent will be reviewed
  • Information on the deposit and deposit protection
  • Instances when the deposit can be deducted from
  • The start and end dates of the tenancy
  • Obligations for landlords and tenants
  • Information on who's responsible for which bills
  • Who's responsible for repairs
  • Whether a tenant can sublet
  • Whether a tenant can have lodgers
  • Rules regarding pets, smoking, etc

What makes a tenancy agreement invalid?

Tenancy agreements are invalid if they conflict with the law. This is also the case if one of the parties doesn’t know the nature of the elements in the contract, the agreement is signed under duress, or there’s any type of fraud involved.