A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant stating the terms and conditions of the tenancy. It is a written documentation of all the relevant details agreed between the landlord and a tenant in respect of the tenancy.
Tenancy Agreement Must be in Writing
A tenancy agreement must be in writing, and the landlord and the tenant must duly sign it. The landlord must make available a counter-part copy of the executed agreement for the tenant at the commencement of same.
Nevertheless, a landlord and a tenant can create a tenancy relationship even where there is no written agreement by virtue of the provision of the Residential Tenancies Act.
There are obligations created by law which cannot be circumvented by a landlord and a tenant simply because of the absence of a written tenancy agreement. The law will presume the existence of certain responsibility where parties fail to enter into a valid written tenancy agreement.
It is the responsibility of Tenants to carefully read the terms and conditions contained in a tenancy agreement before signing, as a court will not re-write an agreement for parties. This goes to mean that a court will be bound by the provisions of a duly executed agreement where there is a need for enforcement or interpretation of same.
Some states and jurisdictions may have rules and regulations prescribing certain forms for disclosures by Landlord and other requirements; however, it is advisable you use a standard tenancy agreement template which will require little variations and modifications. You may read our article on New York Residential Lease Agreement Standard Template for more details.
Tenancy Agreement Sample
There are different types of tenancy agreement such as residential tenancy agreement, commercial tenancy agreement, boarding house tenancy agreement, etc. The contents or ingredients may vary as parties may choose to draft their agreement in their own style provided it captures the relevant or essential details agreed upon and standard information required by law.
You may download a sample for residential tenancy agreement below:
Insulation statements are clauses that must be included in all new tenancy agreements. It is a disclosure made by Landlords whether or not there is insulation in the rental home — the locations and types as well as the condition of insulation so that tenants can make an informed decision before paying for the apartment.
Our insulation statement template will meet all the requirements for insulation disclosure under the Residential Tenancies Act. Download Insulation statement:
Minimum Contents of a Tenancy Agreement
A standard tenancy agreement must contain the under-listed minimum information:
• The full names and contact addresses of the landlord and tenant (including contact email address and mobile telephone number, if they have them).
• The address of the property to be rented.
• The date of commencement and/or execution of the tenancy agreement.
• Addresses for service and correspondence for both the landlord and the tenant.
• Whether the tenant is under the age of 18.
• The amount of any bond.
• The rent amount and frequency of payments.
• The place or bank account number where the rent is to be paid.
• Any fees (for a letting agent or solicitor) to be paid (if applicable).
• A list of any chattels (like furniture, curtains and other fittings) provided by the landlord.
• If the tenancy is a fixed-term tenancy, the date of determination of tenancy.
• Landlords are required to disclose in the Tenancy Agreement for any tenancy commencing after 1 July 2016, information about insulation installed in the ceilings, floors, or walls together with details of the location, type, and condition of all insulation (you must note that disclosures of insulation on the wall is not a mandatory requirement and if a landlord is unsure whether or not the property contains wall insulation, you may state “not known” or “not applicable”).
Failure to provide this information or providing false or misleading information is an unlawful act. However, where the landlord has made all reasonable efforts to obtain the required information but was unable to do so, the landlord must make a statement to this effect.