A tenancy agreement will always exist between a landlord and tenant, whether or not it is in writing. A tenancy agreement consists of the arrangements the landlord and tenant have made about the tenancy, as well as any rights automatically incorporated in the tenancy agreement by law (statutory rights). The tenancy agreement can give both landlord and tenant more than their statutory rights ; it cannot take away rights that they have by law.
The ‘express terms’ of the tenancy agreement are those which were specifically agreed in writing (or orally, although this is harder to prove) between a landlord and tenant. ‘Implied terms’ are terms which, whilst not specifically in the agreement, are part of it because they are either written down in an Act of Parliament (‘statutory implied terms’) or have been established in the past by cases in court.
For more Government guidance on how to rent.
A tenancy agreement can, therefore, be made up of:
- A written signed agreement. These are express terms of the agreement.
- What was agreed orally. These are also express terms of the agreement, but may be difficult to prove, unless there were witnesses.
- Any rights conferred by statute or established by case law. These are implied terms of the agreement.
- What was written in the original rent book.
- Any arrangements/agreements made since the tenancy started. These are also implied terms of the agreement.
If you have a problem with your landlord, the first thing to do is look at any written agreement you have. This could be in a contract or it could be a letter or email from your landlord/agent.
The tenant has a right of quiet enjoyment of the tenancy. This means that you can occupy the premises without being disturbed by the landlord or her/his agents. Quiet enjoyment is an implied contractual right whether or not it is written into the tenancy agreement.