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How to make a Tenancy agreement for a house

Use this tenancy agreement to rent out a house to tenants in England.

For use in England only.

A residential tenancy lease agreement is an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) that can be used to rent out a house. ASTs are a type of tenancy that allow landlords to charge a market rent and recover possession of the property by giving tenants at least two months' notice (expiring on or after the first six months).

This straightforward assured shorthold tenancy agreement template for a house will help you avoid all the hassles of letting. This type of agreement also makes it simpler and quicker to evict tenants who fail to pay their rent or cause a nuisance.

Use this tenancy agreement for a house:

  • to rent out the whole of your house for a fixed term

  • when you will not be living at the property

  • when the property will be the tenant's main home

  • when the tenant is an individual

  • when there is only one landlord

  • only when the property is in England

Find out more about renting your property.

This tenancy agreement template covers:

  • the term of the tenancy

  • rent payments

  • any deposit required

  • landlord responsibilities

  • what the tenant can and cannot do at the property

  • optional break clause

  • optional rent increase

  • end of the tenancy

You need this agreement if you do not live at the house and you want all tenants at the property to be joint tenants under one tenancy. This means that all of the tenants are jointly responsible for the tenant obligations in the agreement. You will need this agreement to set out the tenant's and your obligations.

This tenancy agreement should only be used to list up to four tenants.

You should also note that if more than three unrelated tenants live at the property, it could be classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). In these circumstances, you must comply with additional regulations and may need to apply for a licence - if you don't you could be fined.

A guarantor is someone who agrees to be legally liable for the tenant's rent and other responsibilities if they fail to pay.

This is the period the agreement will run for and can be any length you agree with the tenant, but the tenant has a right to stay in the property for at least six months. If a fixed term of fewer than six months is agreed, you do not have a guaranteed right to possession if the tenant does not leave before the end of six months.

You can use this tenancy agreement for a house to let property for a maximum of 2 years and 11 months. Tenancies with a term of 3 years or more must be witnessed. Ask a lawyer for more information.

An Inventory is a detailed list of all of the items at the property and their condition. It is usual to provide a detailed inventory of the items in the property that the tenant can use.

The items listed on the inventory must be left in the same state of repair and condition when the tenant vacates. If not, any deposit held can be deducted to cover the cost of any repairs. It is highly recommended that an inventory is made.

You can take a deposit to hold to cover the cost of any breakages or damage to the property or its contents. If when the tenant leaves there is no damage or rent due the money is returned.

All deposits must be placed in a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme. Within 30 days of receiving the deposit, you must give the tenant details of the scheme and what is covered by the deposit. For more information, read Deposit protection schemes.

There are three authorised tenancy deposit schemes, two are insurance-based and the third is custodial. All three schemes offer free help and assistance if there is a disagreement about the return of the deposit. There is no charge for landlords or agents to use the custodial scheme but the insurance-based schemes charge membership fees and insurance premiums.

Landlords who fail to protect a deposit can be prevented from regaining possession of the property and can also be fined up to three times the amount of the deposit. For more information, read Deposit protection schemes.

The rent can be set at any level up to £100,000 per year in England and can be payable monthly or weekly. The level of rent will be the market rent similar to other lodgings and tenancies in the local area. 

This agreement assumes that the rent includes a cost towards the common areas (eg lighting the hallway, cleaning the common areas etc) but does not include outgoings (eg electricity and gas) and the tenant is responsible for a proportion of these costs. If you want your tenancy agreement to include outgoings, speak to a lawyer.

If there is more than one tenant renting the property (eg a couple or two friends), the rent in the agreement is the total rent for the property. The tenants are responsible for splitting any payments between themselves. This agreement provides that each tenant is responsible for the whole rent. This means that, if one tenant fails to pay, the remaining tenant is responsible for the full rent.

A landlord can increase the rent during the course of a tenancy using a rent increase clause in the tenancy agreement. They must also follow the correct procedures and the proposed rent increase must not be excessive or unfair. This tenancy lets you choose if you want to increase the rent.

If the tenancy is for less than two years, it is recommended that the rent be fixed for the duration of the tenancy. If the tenancy is for more than two years, the rent can either be fixed for the duration of the tenancy or the landlord can choose to increase the rent once per year.

For more information, read Private renting rent increases.

Tenants generally cannot end the agreement before the end of the tenancy term unless a break clause is present. This tenancy agreement allows you to specify if (and how) the tenant, you or both parties can end the tenancy early using a break clause.

You can end the agreements by serving notice on the tenant but you can't obtain possession of the house during the first six months.

This document covers the Tenant Fees Act 2019. It excludes fees prohibited under the Act, while it also allows for certain damages to be recoverable. For more information, read Tenant fees.

Ask a lawyer for advice on:

  • tenants who want to run a business at the property
  • student/college accommodation
  • tenants who are a company or partnership
  • properties with rent of more than £100,000 per year
  • advice if there are 3 or more prospective tenants that form more than 1 household, as the property may need to be licensed
  • a property that is outside England

Other names for Tenancy agreement for a house

Lease agreement for a house, House rental agreement, Tenancy agreement form, Residential lease for a house.