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rainbowcuddles
22-08-2006, 13:04 PM
Hi,

I did try searching the thread for answers but it doesnt seem to work on my computer??!! So if this has been repeated please accept my apologies and point me in the right direction----->

I have a basic contract! When I say basic, its about 12pages. When I compared mine to an agency one I found quite a few things missing... Im unwilling to pay for a WHSmith pack because Ive heard they aren't the best!!

I was just wondering however, what people would consider are the most important things in a contract.

Ive got the following titles in my contract:

~rent arrears
~paying of utilities
~condition of premises repair and cleaning
~garden/waste
~locks
~nuisance and noise
~animals
~washing
~drains
~empty premises
~insurance
~planning
~decoration
~superior leases
~breach of tenancy
~negotiated clauses

Are these the main headers that need to be written into the contract or are there some more out there? Ive just added the ones about nuisnace and noise as I realised they could be doing anything at all hours and it wouldnt be breach of contract!
Im on my second draft now and would appreciate any others advice!! :)

ATI
22-08-2006, 14:08 PM
You are lucky yours is 12 pages. mine is one page.

rainbowcuddles
22-08-2006, 14:11 PM
one page? Seriously!!

Your landlord seriously has issues!

What is the one page? Your name, tenancy details and the words "Pay your rent on the date set or else I will evict you!!"

MrWoof
22-08-2006, 14:12 PM
If I remember rightly, Paul_f reckons on about 30 pages. I've not heard anything bad about the Lawpack agreement available from WH Smith and elsewhere, I use a variation of it and have so far had no problems, I have twice successfully repossessed properties (S21) from tenants on this agreement.

rainbowcuddles
22-08-2006, 14:54 PM
Im sure I read that the WHSmith Lawpack wasn't up to the job?? Maybe I mis-read a thread!!!

Is the lawpack contract about 30pages then?

Wow, I thought mine was long!!

Worldlife
22-08-2006, 18:23 PM
If I remember rightly, Paul_f reckons on about 30 pages. I've not heard anything bad about the Lawpack agreement available from WH Smith and elsewhere, I use a variation of it and have so far had no problems, I have twice successfully repossessed properties (S21) from tenants on this agreement.

Agree with you Mr Woof. IMHO the Lawpack AST (retailed by W H Smith and others) is an agreement that is fair to both landlords and tenants and explains the responsibilities of each. The tenancy conditions consist of 6 main clauses including about 35 sub clauses. The font is small and the tenancy conditions form two of the centre pages of a four page A4 document.

Wondering if AST's that are the size of a book would be regarded as an unfair contract especially if they are not in plain English!!

Take care in preparing DIY tenancy agreements. I used one word for word from a "Which? Guide to Renting Property" but it was very poor in comparison with the Lawpack one. The "Which? agreement was however accepted for Housing Benefit purposes and also in proceedings for recovery of outstanding rent and damages.

There have been pages and pages of discussion on these forums over use of different versions of a S21 to cover notice of possession in the fixed term and notice of possession when the fixed term has expired. Counsel's opinion endorses the Lawpack decision to have a notice covering both circumstances.

MrShed
22-08-2006, 21:58 PM
It may be more expensive, but most senior members on here would always advise to get a contract drawn up for the individual property, rather than use a generic one.

rainbowcuddles
23-08-2006, 08:02 AM
Yes, I imagine that is the best route to go.. individual contracts for each property. Although I have at present at least 8different sorts of properties ranging from studios to 3bed houses! I wonder how much that would cost to draw up individual ones?

I wanted to have a standard contract and then edit it myself, but reading through the contract (whilst comparing to others) I noticed a few things missing. Im sure if I combined all the contracts out there it would end up being 30+pages. Is this really fair for a tenant to sit and read??Its daunting enough for tenants!!

I think I will purchase a Lawpack and then compare it to my contract I have now..

Thanks everyone

MrWoof
23-08-2006, 15:38 PM
Check your private messages.

Paul_f
23-08-2006, 18:11 PM
The NAEA and ARLA tenancy agreements are about 23 and 20 pages respectively but include explanatory notes for the tenant.

I've said enough already about the perceived merits of different agreements but they are all lawful, the only trouble is are they any good?

lawstudent
23-08-2006, 18:34 PM
It may be more expensive, but most senior members on here would always advise to get a contract drawn up for the individual property, rather than use a generic one.
Couldn't agree more MShed, but in this IT age surely there's a generic lease or two out there on the web that can be tailored to meet individual needs?

The only way you could get up to 20 or so pages would be to fill the thing with such clauses as:

The tenant will mow the lawn, if any, of the garden, if any, with the landlord's mower, if provided, notwithstanding that if such a mower is not provided, the tenant will not thereby be absolved from mowing the said lawn with some such other mower as may be provided by individuals other than the landlord, such as other tenants, friends, relatives (the term "relatives" to include relatives by marriage or civil partnership) and the term "lawn" is to refer to any herbaceous verdant surface outside the main walls of the building containing no cultivated plants higher than 20 (twenty) centimetres (excluding any root, rhizome, tuber, bulb or other such subterranean structure) other than grass.

And there wouldn't be much point in such a clause if you were renting out a bedsitter that didn't even have a window box would there?

I would think that any lease more than 4 pages in length is packed with redundant irrelevancies, or just plain badly expressed or laid out.

IMHO as always :)

Worldlife
23-08-2006, 19:41 PM
lawstudent I think you overlooked a few key points in your clause concerning the use of the lawnmower.

Would something along these lines be suitable?

" Before using the mower the tenant is required to read the manufacturer's operational manual and safety instructions. If there are any defects to the mower these should be reported immediately to the landlord and the mower must not be used. The use of the mower is at the tenant's risk and the tenant should ensure he has adequate insurance in place to cover any incidents or accidents to himself or herself and any other parties arising from the use of the mower. The landlord does not accept any responsibility for any issue whatsoever arising from the failure of the mower manufacturer to provide full and proper safety instructions or the tenant failing to heed or comprehend the said instructions."

pms
23-08-2006, 19:56 PM
lawstudent I think you overlooked a few key points in your clause concerning the use of the lawnmower.

Would something along these lines be suitable?

" Before using the mower the tenant is required to read the manufacturer's operational manual and safety instructions. If there are any defects to the mower these should be reported immediately to the landlord and the mower must not be used. The use of the mower is at the tenant's risk and the tenant should ensure he has adequate insurance in place to cover any incidents or accidents to himself or herself and any other parties arising from the use of the mower. The landlord does not accept any responsibility for any issue whatsoever arising from the failure of the mower manufacturer to provide full and proper safety instructions or the tenant failing to heed or comprehend the said instructions."

Could we also add that the use of the mower can only be used between the hours of 9-5.Outside these hours an offence is being commited under S79 EPA(1990) which means that the tenant has breached the tenancy and the landlord then has the option to evict.

pippay
23-08-2006, 21:43 PM
Couldn't an alternative method of cutting the grass be included such as shears (and a ruler to maintain equal height of grass blades, of course) as this would alleviate the necessity to to cut it between the hours of 9 - 5, This would give the tenant a choice of method thus ensuring it couldn't be deemed an unfair term??

Worldlife
23-08-2006, 21:46 PM
"Whilst using the mower the tenant shall, as far as reasonably practicable, avoid decapitation or maiming of any mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds or any other wildlife resident or visiting the property. In the event of killing any of the aforesaid creatures the tenant will be responsible for the hygienic and respectful burial of the remains. In respect of animals injured by the tenant in undertaking mowing operation the cost of any necessary veterinary shall be paid for by the tenant. The tenant will be required to pay a replacement charge of £35 for each creature killed or an invalidity benefit of £20 for each seriously injured animal. The landlord will set up a fund to meet the future health, welfare and nutritional needs of all injured animals"

Worldlife
23-08-2006, 21:49 PM
Could we also add that the use of the mower can only be used between the hours of 9-5.Outside these hours an offence is being commited under S79 EPA(1990) which means that the tenant has breached the tenancy and the landlord then has the option to evict.

I think we need some additional clauses here pms. Maybe there should be different operating hours for hand mowers, electric mowers or petrol mowers.

pms
23-08-2006, 23:39 PM
I think we need some additional clauses here pms. Maybe there should be different operating hours for hand mowers, electric mowers or petrol mowers.

Vic: You left out industrial mowers:D

Stel
24-08-2006, 11:01 AM
No mower please ...................................