I don’t have a tenancy agreement
If you don’t have a written tenancy agreements don’t fret. As a tenant you have a number of basic rights whether you have a written tenancy agreement or not.
Current law does not require a tenant to have a written tenancy agreement to create a tenancy in residential lettings. Furthermore, there is no general right where tenants can demand a written tenancy agreement although it is a high expectation of tenants and is normally provided by most landlords.
How to request details of your tenancy even if you don't have a written tenancy agreement
Even if a tenant does not have a tenancy agreement, a tenant still has rights to information about their tenancy from their landlord. It is possible to request that your landlord provides a WRITTEN STATEMENT with confirmation of:
- Confirmation of the date on which the tenancy started
- Confirmation of the amount of rent payable and the dates on which that rent is due
- Details of any rent review clause
- Confirmation of any fixed term
It is possible to request this information from your landlord and your landlord must provide a written statement with this information about your tenancy thanks to the Housing Act 1996, which amended the Housing Act 1988 with the introduction of a new Section 20A.
How to request information about your tenancy agreement from your landlord
You must request details of your tenancy in writing to your landlord. The landlord should provide the above information about your tenancy within 28 days, unless it is information that your landlord has already previously given you, such as a written tenancy agreement.
What to do if the information your landlord provides about your tenancy is not correct?
Once you receive a written response from your landlord confirming the key details about your tenancy you must immediately check that it is correct with what you have agreed. If your landlord provides a statement that is wrong and you don’t respond it may be deemed that you accept what the landlord has written.
You have agreed a rent of £600.00 pcm which you have been paying. Following your written request to your landlord for confirmation of details of the tenancy in accordance with the Housing Act 1996 and the new Section 20A your landlord responds within the 28 day period that he is allowed. However, your landlord confirmed that the agreed rent is £700.00 pcm – which as you know is untrue. It would be important to write back to your landlord immediately to challenge the landlord’s statement and state that the agreed rent was £600.00 pcm. If you did not do this, should this case ever go to court, it would be suggested that you did not challenge the written statement confirming the rent agreed given by your landlord, and therefore you accepted and agreed with what your landlord had written.