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Tenancy agreements: everything you need to know

June 23, 2020

What’s in the tenancy agreement?

The tenancy agreement is one of number of important documents associated with a tenancy.

It documents the key information about the tenancy: the names of the tenant and landlord, the address of the property, the rental amount and frequency and contract start and end date. The landlord can use his or her own contract, or use a tenancy agreement.

It also covers the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords.

When in the process do I sign the tenancy agreement?

Once the offer is accepted and agreed by both the landlord and tenant, the landlord requests a holding deposit. This is held by us in our client account on behalf of both the landlord and the tenant, normally until the contact is signed and move in funds are transferred.

Once the reference checking has taken place and all tenants have been approved, the landlord confirms the key terms. We then use these key terms, and create a tenancy agreement that is sent out to all parties for signature. We'll keep everyone updated as each party signs, and we'll then date the document to finalise the process.

How do I sign digitally?

We use digital signatures, which have the same effect as their written equivalents, but have the advantage of allowing all parties to sign the documents remotely and quickly. We'll email each party, and using two factor authentication, record each party's consent to enter into the tenancy agreement.

As soon as all parties have signed the tenancy agreement, it is digitally sealed and we’ll circulate the final version by email.

Does the tenancy agreement deal with the property deposit?

Yes - the tenancy agreement has been created in anticipation of Portico registering the deposit. This is our recommended method as it decreases the risk of fraud. If landlords want to register the deposit using another scheme of their choosing, tenants should proceed with caution as it means the letting agent isn't responsible for handling any of the transactions.

When do I pay the balance of the rent and property deposit?

We'll send you a request to pay one month's rent (unless you have agreed something different) + the property deposit - the holding deposit as soon as the tenancy agreement has been signed. If you are transferring funds through us, you should pay this as soon as possible and at least 3 working days before the start of the tenancy. However, to decrease the chances of fraud, we then hold the rent for 7 - 10 days after the tenancy has started, before releasing it to the landlord. Once we have had confirmation from all parties that the tenancy has started without any problems, we'll transfer the funds to the landlord.

If you're unsure of what you should be charging in terms of rent, check out our rent calculator.

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