Tenancy Agreement "must haves" for Student Lets
Tenancy Agreement "must haves" for Student Lets If you are a landlord who lets student accommodation these are the "must have" items for your Tenancy Agreement.
Your Tenancy Agreement is one of the main keys to your survival as a student landlord. There are purpose built Tenancy Agreements if you decide to go it alone. If you are using a managing agent they will have a set form of agreement themselves.
Most of these are quite good, as they are born of hard experience. Whichever route you choose, make sure the items mentioned are covered in your Agreement.
First and foremost you must have a "joint and several liability" clause. This means that you fix a price for the house as a whole. All your tenants are equally responsible to you for the whole amount. You do not have to chase any individual defaulters.
Who pays how much and for what rooms need not be your concern, although you may need to enter into this game at the start, particularly if your brand new students don't know each other.
The next thing is to get all your money "up front" before your tenants have time to fritter it away on such essential items as poker and partying. Many student lets have either a full academic year in advance or a whole term.
You will be governed to some extent by the practice in your area - do what all your fellow "professional" landlords do.
You absolutely must take a hefty deposit against damage. There are deposit schemes and provisions in new legislation. You should familiarise yourself with the rules and decide which option you will choose for handling deposits. Don't let the rules about deposits deter you from taking them.
Also, as further peace of mind for you, take parental guarantees. Students can disappear - they have few ties. Their parents tend to have more permanent addresses - and more money. They usually do not like to see the family name tarnished by the antics of their offspring.
Many student websites and advice centres will tell students to expect parental guarantees. They also tell them to try to make sure the guarantee only relates to their own student's part of the rent.
However, this is of little help to them if your form of guarantee is for all or any of their son's or daughter's debt to you. Remember that "joint and several" clause?
So, you now have all students liable to you for all the rent. Each of their guarantors is liable for all their debt to you. You also have a hefty deposit from each tenant. So far, so good. Anything else?
Yes! Remember to include any restrictions on decorations. Students have bizarre tastes which are best restricted to other people's properties. Make sure it all goes in the Agreement. Many landlords and agents do not have these provisions and just rely on a full redecorate every summer between lets.
Stipulate that there can be no decorating in any colours or materials other than existing ones. Any redecoration in existing styles and colours must have your written consent. Nothing can be fixed to any walls except onto the pin boards provided.
Finally, your agreement must stipulate the number of people who can occupy the property. You should also stipulate that there are to be no sub-lets. Students have a habit of overcrowding as a means of spreading the rental burden a little thinner between them. Unfortunately it can lead to abuse of your property or problems with the authorities - or both.
You can find an Agreement that you can fill in on-line and print out at the RLA site
About the Author:
For more Information and Resources on this subject visit: ==> www.property-investment-cafe.com/agreement_must_haves .html For other investment property articles by property entrepreneur and successful UK portfolio landlord John Tym see: ==> www.property-investment-cafe.com/articles_by_john_tym .html
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