Homes and property Private tenancies and tenancy agreements

Tenancy agreement: a legal contract

The tenancy agreement is a legal contract that sets out the rights and responsibilities of a private landlord, and the rights and responsibilities of the tenant.

It describes how much rent the tenant should pay, what repairs the landlord must do, and the rules about leaving the property.

An agreement is created when the landlord gives the tenant written, or verbal, permission to live in the property for an agreed rent. Once there is an agreement like this you become bound by specific laws.

So it's in your interest to have a proper written tenancy agreement to prevent later disputes about who's responsible for what. This is a complex area - get specialist legal advice if you're unclear.

Legal responsibilities

A landlord has legal responsibilities - you must carry out certain repairs for instance. A tenancy agreement cannot override these responsibilities - it cannot make the tenant responsible for these repairs.

Was this page helpful?

Fields marked * cannot be left blank

Feedback submitted to us on this form is monitored but you won’t receive a reply. In an emergency, visit our emergency contact details page. Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.