What is The Correct Procedure for leases /tenancy agreement, who signs what and do I need a witness ?
As with all legal contacts, and tenancies are no exception, it is important that the parties agree to all the terms in the agreement (and you have written proof of this) so always ensure that your tenant and/or guarantor have adequate opportunity to read the agreement before signing.
1. Landlord (L) prepares two identical copies of final version, whether a lease (long-term or short) or a letting (whether residential or commercial).
2. One is top copy (TC).
3. Other is counterpart copy (CC).
4. L signs TC.
5. Witness essential (if it’s a lease, inc. letting for >three years) or at least desirable (if it’s a letting for <three years).
6. Tenant (T) signs CC.
7. Item 5 applies to CC too.
8. T gives CC to L who keeps it [but may need to register at HMLR]. In exchange, L gives TC to T who keeps it.
9. If you follow this procedure, many recently-posted problems on the LandlordZONE Forum will never arise!
10. If L uses solicitors, the same basic pattern is followed too.
The Correct Procedure for Leases
Note: never rely totally on these standard answers. Before taking action or not, always seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand. LandlordZONE.co.uk