Skip to main content

Content of rental agreement must be designed so that it is clearly understood by both parties.

Properly defined terms of tenancy agreement help to define rights and obligations of the landlord and tenant(s).

The most useful tenancy form is assured hold tenancy(AST tenancy) which couldn’t be a longer than three years. If tenancy period is longer then three years parties should sign a Deed.

If any of terms are not mentioned in the rental agreement then parties must be act according the legislation. For example, notice to quite or notice to leave a property must be serve according the law.


Definition clauses are optional but may help to explain some terms and expressions which are used in rental contract.

Example of some definition clauses:

The property: the property includes all, or any part of the dwelling-house, gardens, paths, driveways, fences, boundaries or other outbuildings which form part of the let. Where the Property forms only part of a larger premises (e.g. in a block of flats) the letting include the use, in common with others, of the communal access ways and other similar facilities.

This definition clause fits both for rental flats or houses (terraced, detached or semi-detached) and clearly states that not only building is let out but also another adjoining parts such as paths, driveway and etc.

List of  clauses for Definition paragraph:

  • Lanlords and tenant/Occupant
  • Property
  • Fixture&fittings/contents
  • Agent
  • Insured Risk
  • Joint and several liability
  • Head or Superior liability
  • Deposit
  • Utilities
  • Inventory and or Schedule of Condition

Summary of principle terms

Summary is designed to help understand the general and important clauses of rental contract without reading whole documents. Usually it is no more the one pages and contains the next terms:

  • Start and end date of tenancy agreement
  • Details of the landlord(name, address, phone)
  • Address of rental property
  • Term of contract
  • Special conditions may contain information such as deposit, rental payment, where deposit is safeguarded.

Tenants Obligations

This section set out the main tenant’s duty that is agreed to do or not to do. Fail to comply with these parts of tenancy agreement could cause the possibility of eviction or the landlord may be entitled to claim damages or compensation from tenant(s).

List of tenants liabilities:

1. Paying rent on time

2. Paying or not paying television licence fee

3. Utilities&Liabilities: obligation to pay directly to the suppliers all utilities charges due during the tenancy for the water, gas, electricity, telephone charges and so. Examples of such cause in rental agreement:

“On the signing this agreement to have transferred to the Tenant’s name and to pay directly to the suppliers  all charges during the tenancy for the following:

a. water rates,  sewage disposal, gas, fuel, oil and electricity supplied to the Property

b. telephone charges and all rent in respect of the telephone during the tenancy and linked telephone line for the burglar alarm(if applicable)”

c. Council Tax which is the responsibility of the Occupant or any other charge levied n the Property replacing the Council tax and further to pay the same and to indemnify the Landlord from and against all liability in respect thereof including and liability which may incurred by the Landlord as a result of the Tenant ceasing to occupy the property as his sole or main residence

d. where the Property is served by a septic tank or cesspit, to be responsible for the reasonable cost of emptying and clearing such facilities, as required, during the tenancy.”

The main points in most of all agreements that tenant have obligation to pay utility charges direct to the suppliers. It is a tenant’s obligation to sign contract with any gas, water or electricity suppliers. In some residential houses or flats, water bill may be included into rental payment and there is no necessity to sign contract with water suppliers. All this details should be discussed prior and put into agreement.

4. Clauses of use of the property, fixtures and rittings in "tenant-like" manner define the tenant’s obligation how to use, replace and repair property content such as lights, fuses, smoke alarm, gas and electricity appliances. Other obligation such as cutting the grass, not to carry any trade or business in the property are also stated in part of tenancy agreement.

If landlord wish not the property appearance be altered, for example not to fix and hang any pictures or photo on the walls/ceilings, then it must be stated in this paragraph.

5. Insurance and security section states clauses in respect of any insurance claims, paying excess in the event of loss or damage and other action which could lead to insurance case.

End of Tenancy

End of Tenancy section usually states further:

  • permission the property be viewed during the last one or two month prior the end of tenancy
  • how and when to notify about wish to rent a property after the fixed term.
  • obligation to clean the property before moving out and the way how it should be done. In some cases landlord may request to clean property by professional cleaning service. This details and its reasonableness should be discussed prior the signing tenancy agreement.
  • moving out inventory check and who pays the fee(if applicable)
  • conditions and term of notice to quite

Landlord Obligations

Section define the thing which the landlord agrees to do or not to do. For example:

  • obligation to provide at least 24 notification about visit or viewing the property. Even if it is not stated in tenancy agreemen, the landlord must do it under the Landlord & Tenant Act , Section 11.
  • maintain and repair property during the tenancy and its exclusions.
  • to take any reasonable steps to ensure the domestic gas, electricity and other appliances are safe in order to comply with Gas Safety Regulations and etc.
  • taxes and fee are payable  during the tenancy


Paragraph should contain the description of cases where deposit paid by tenant could be used, terms of payment deposit at the end of tenancy and the way it may be returned.

As well, it is important to specify the protection scheme of deposit. Even if this information is absent in the rental contract landlord is liable to refund it within 1 month after tenancy ends.

Other general clauses

Parties are free to include any reasonable clauses into the tenancy contract. The list of useful clauses for rental agreement:

  1. Who pays for extension of agreement or it shall be paid in equal shares by the landlord and the tenant.
  2. The way of service notice. For example, any notice should be served by 1st  class post addressed to the landlord or to the tenant. What type of service delivery might be considered as a proper notice and recipient will be treated as though they have received it.
  3. Surrender of the tenancy by the Tenant
  4. Right of re-entry into the property and exceptional case in which it might happens.
  5. List of ground which let landlord to request court order for eviction
  6. Data protection and confidentiality clauses
  7. Any other special condition. For example, if the tenant pay advance payment of rent for more then one month the amount should be specified in the tenancy agreement.

Useful links: