Is there a standard type of contract in the UK?
Yes it’s called an Assured Short-term Tenancy, commonly known as an AST.
What is the standard length of a contract?
12 months is the standard term, it is possible to have longer e.g 18, 24 and 36 month.
Can I put a break clause anywhere in the contract?
No, the minimum break clause is 6 months in an AST.
Can I break my contract if I need to?
Only if a mutual or tenant only break clause is inserted otherwise you are obliged to stay until the contract ends.
How much notice do I have to give if I am breaking my contract?
With a standard AST the notice period is normally 2 months.
Can I break my contract after 6 months?
Yes, even after the 6 month point you can give 2 months notice at any time.
Can I extend my contract if I need to?
Yes, most agents will give you the option to renew (extend) your contract at the end of the agreed term.
Whose names go on the contract?
This depends on whether or not your company wish to do a corporate let or a private let. However all persons living in the property over the age of 18 must be named on the contract.
Who chooses the contract?
You and the landlord mutually agree the terms of the contract, however it is usually derived from an AST template (see example in useful documents).
Are the terms negotiable?
To an extent, some terms can be negotiated eg. the length of the contract and where the break clause falls, but they must be agreed by the landlord as well.
What are special conditions?
These are normally things which you and landlord agreed upon previously and wish to add to the contract eg. no smoking in the property or professional clean must take place before move in.
Why are there clauses in the contract that have no relevance to the property?
Most agents use generic contracts to cover every eventuality.
Is the landlord’s written permission needed to put up pictures?
This is dependent upon the landlord as some don’t mind whereas others request that you ask permission.