Tenancy agreements are legally binding; once a contract has been signed it is extremely difficult to cancel. Only sign a tenancy agreement if you and your group are happy with the contract. Try and facilitate a time and date so that everyone can sign the contract at the same time. This assures that everyone’s obligations are the same.
If after signing, whether it is before the start of the tenancy or after, you cannot live in the property you will need to follow the following procedure:
- Inform the other tenants.
- Inform the landlord.
- Seek an alternative tenant by advertising on Manchester Student Homes’ Message Board and posting on Manchester Student Homes’ Facebook page.
- Once an alternative tenant has been found you will need to contact the landlord and the tenants to arrange for a transfer of names to occur.
- Ensure that your name has been removed from the tenancy.
Note: The replacement tenant must be accepted by all parties involved in the contract. If a replacement tenant is not found you are still liable for the obligations of the tenancy.
Every landlord should offer you a tenancy agreement (contract). Manchester Student Homes accredited landlords should give you at least 24 hours to read the contract in full. There is plenty of student accommodation in Manchester so please do not feel under pressure to sign a contract straight away.
A vast majority of contracts are Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements (AST) and are usually 6 months or a year. To find out more visit Shelter - AST.
If you live in a house with your landlord then you will have a different agreement, the agreement will be called a 'licence to occupy'. To find out more visit Shelter - Lodger.
You can ask for the landlord to amend, remove or add clauses to the contract if necessary. For example, if the landlord promises that certain works will be completed before you move in, the agreement needs to be written into your contract.
Types of Tenancy Agreements
Joint and Several Liability
This is the type of agreement normally used if you and a group of friends are going to rent a house. This essentially means collective responsibility. In the eyes of the law, all tenants are considered to be one tenant, and the behaviour of each individual therefore affects everyone else. For instance, if one tenant does not pay their portion of the rent, the landlord can legitimately ask the other tenants to pay this amount. Equally, if one tenant causes damage, the landlord can take it out of all the tenants’ deposits.
Individual Tenancy Agreement
If the property is rented out on a room by room basis, you should be offered an individual tenancy agreement and it should detail which room you are renting. On an individual contract you should have exclusive possession of your own room / bedroom but be allowed to use the shared areas such as the kitchen, lounge and bathroom. These types of tenancies are more common in private halls of residence.