A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and your landlord. It can be either written or verbal, although most people when talking about ‘a tenancy agreement’ will mean the signed contract document.
It is possible to create a valid tenancy without a written agreement but this is not advisable.
A written tenancy agreement will set out the details of the tenancy – eg the names of the parties, the property address, the rent payable and the term (the period of time it has been agreed that you will rent the property for).
It will also set out terms and conditions – which are the rules which will apply to your occupation of the property. However, note that tenancy agreements do not always accurately set out the parties legal rights and obligations. For example:
- there are some terms (such as the landlords repairing obligations) which will apply whether they are in the tenancy agreement or not, and
- there may be terms which are invalid under the various consumer rules which apply to tenancies
So be aware that although most terms and conditions in your tenancy agreement will be valid, some may not.