A tenancy agreement is a legally-binding agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the period of the tenancy. In summary, it sets out the rights and duties of both the landlord and the tenant. It is usually referred to as an assured shorthold tenancy agreement since this is the most common form of tenancy agreement in the United Kingdom. The distinguishing factors for the tenancy agreement include the length of the tenancy and whether the landlord lives in the same property you are renting. It is an assured tenancy agreement if the landlord does not live in the property. But you are a lodger if the landlord lives in the house.
Whether written or oral, a tenancy agreement will be enforced by law, provided it does not offer either parties less than is provided by statutory right, but will be enforced if it offers either the landlord or the tenant more than is provided for by their statutory rights. All the rights provided by law must be respected in a tenancy agreement. This is why the terms of the agreement are either implied or expressed. The implied ones are because it is assumed they are already established and made common knowledge by law. However, parts of the agreement that are already provided for by law may be emphasized, if they are very crucial. For instance, the agreement often states the legally established 2 month notice before the landlord can repossess their property before the end of the tenancy and reasons stated.
The contract, if written, must be drafted in a form that will be readable by the tenant. For instance, if the tenant is blind, it is required that the agreement be written in braille. There is no provision for the tenant to be entitled to a written agreement but, in Scotland, the landlord is required to provide one for you.
What constitutes the content of the agreement varies and it is determined by many factors. Some of these factors include, the length of time of the tenancy, the amount of money to be paid for leasing the property, and the location of the property. Maintenance of the property is often the tenant‘s duty and will be encapsulated in the agreement. Things like the changing of lightbulbs, changing the batteries in smoke detectors, cleaning the compound, tending the garden (if there is one), and so on.