The Perils of Crafting Your Tenancy Agreement: Why DIY Isn't Always the Way to Go

Published: 30/10/2023

When renting a property, many landlords are often tempted to cut costs by taking the DIY route regarding their tenancy agreements. A quick Google search for "tenancy agreement" yields thousands of results offering free online templates and guidance for creating your rental contract. After all, why pay a letting agent when you can craft an agreement yourself? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, as we'll explore in this blog, the dangers of a DIY tenancy agreement are far more significant than you might think. While it might seem like a cost-saving endeavour at first, the consequences of hastily downloading a template from the internet can be both financially and legally perilous.

1. One of the most significant risks associated with a DIY tenancy agreement is its legal validity. Using incorrect legal terms, illogical clauses, or more explicit wording can lead to severe problems when a tenant decides to move out or challenges elements of the contract. Furthermore, the rental landscape continually evolves, frequently changing renting rules and regulations. If your DIY agreement needs to be updated or adhere to the latest legal requirements, it could render the entire contract worthless.

Imagine a scenario where you must enforce a clause from your agreement or resolve a dispute with a tenant. If your document is not legally sound, it might not hold up in court. Engaging a professional letting agent with access to a properly drafted, legally sound, and up-to-date tenancy agreement can save you significant stress, hassle, and potentially expensive legal fees in the long run.

2. At the start of a tenancy, landlords are obligated to provide tenants with several essential documents aside from the tenancy agreement itself. These documents include 
gas and electrical safety certificates and information about the relevant deposit service that the landlord employs. Neglecting these crucial components in favour of a freestyle approach to establishing a tenancy could invalidate your entire tenancy agreement.

In such a scenario, any dispute that arises during the tenancy becomes even more complex and expensive to resolve. Furthermore, overlooking these legal requirements can expose landlords to financial penalties and reputational damage. Relying on a 
professional letting agent ensures all necessary documentation is provided and correctly managed, keeping your tenancy agreement legally robust.

3. Serving notice is vital to 
property management, particularly when it's time to end a tenancy. However, setting up a DIY tenancy agreement requires providing all the necessary documentation to the tenant to ensure the validity of any notice you serve. It's essential to stay current with recent rule changes governing notice periods, which can vary based on local and national regulations.

Professional letting agents stay informed and updated on all these intricacies. Their experience and knowledge are invaluable in ensuring that notice periods are adhered to correctly, preventing potential disputes and legal entanglements.

In conclusion, while it might appear that crafting your own tenancy agreement is a cost-effective approach, the long-term repercussions could be financially and legally devastating. Engaging a reputable letting agent ensures your tenancy agreement is legally sound and up-to-date and guarantees that all required documents and legal requirements are met. By making this investment, you can protect your interests, reduce stress, and avoid costly pitfalls in the ever-evolving world of property management.

If you would like further advice on Tenancy Agreements or would like to discuss how we can help you manage your London rental property, contact Circa London Sales & Lettings Agents, we will be delighted to assist you and look forward to speaking with you.
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