The Implied Terms in Tenancy Agreements and How These Can Help Tenants
Whether you are renting privately or through social housing, it is important to understand your responsibilities as a tenant. You’ll find all the information you need in the tenancy agreement, which contains details about your tenant rights and obligations, as well as those of your landlords’.
Aside from housing and tenancy rights indicated by the law, tenancy agreements also include arrangements that you and your landlord agree upon. In some cases, there are terms that are not clearly stated in the contract. These unwritten agreements are called implied terms.
Understanding implied terms
Implied terms refer to terms that are not necessarily stated in the tenancy agreement. These terms are automatically applied or established by law because of previous court mandated decisions, customs, and statuses.
More specifically, implied terms are responsibilities that you and your landlord have that were not written in the agreement but are provided by law. As such, they are implied into and are part of the contract even if you and your landlord did not specifically talk about and agree upon them.
The following are common examples of implied terms:
- It is your landlord’s responsibility to do basic repairs.
- Your landlord is responsible for ensuring installations for electricity, gas, water supply, water heating, space heating, and sanitation are working efficiently.
- It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure all furniture provided in the property is fit for tenants and safe for use.
- It is your responsibility as tenant to pay the rent on time, as well as to allow access to the property when needed, particularly when repairs are to be done.
- As a tenant, you are responsible for using the rental property in a reasonable manner. You are expected to use it in a “tenant-like” manner by using landlord-provided equipment properly and making sure you do not cause any damage to the property.
- It is your tenant right to live in a home with ideal living conditions, one that is fit for human habitation right from the first day of your tenancy until the end of the term.
- As a tenant, it is your right to live in a peaceful property, one that is free of any kind of nuisance or intrusion by your landlord. This is your right to quiet enjoyment.
- It is your responsibility as a tenant to ensure the rented home is in good condition when you turn it over to the landlord at the end of your tenancy. The only exception to this term is when the damage is caused by fair wear and tear or because of everyday use or activity.
- As a tenant, you are not allowed to withhold your rent to fund or pay for repairs on the property. Repairs are to be reported to the landlord.
Your landlord is not allowed to take advantage of implied terms by using these to reduce their responsibilities and health and safety standards required by law. As such, implied terms give you the guarantee that your landlord cannot change or create their own terms and violate your rights as tenants.
Another type of term in tenancy agreements is express terms, which are the exact opposite of implied terms.
What are express terms?
Express terms are rights that are expressed or written in tenancy agreements or rental books. These terms include obligations that were agreed upon orally (verbal agreement).
These are some examples of express terms:
- Landlord and tenant’s complete names
- Complete address of the property being rented
- Tenancy start date
- Tenancy length and end date details
- Rental rate the tenant is expected to pay, including date and frequency
- If rent is expected to increase, and when it can increase
- Rent inclusions (utilities and bills)
- Tenancy termination notice period and length of notice (which should depend on statutory rights)
- Other services that the landlord offers (maintenance of some areas, laundry, and cleaning)
- Complete contact details of the landlord
What is a verbal agreement?
As mentioned above, a verbal agreement is considered part of the express terms of a contract. It is considered by law as proof that you and your landlord entered into a tenancy agreement. A common example of this would be when you and your landlord agreed on the rental rate and the schedule of payments at the start of your tenancy.
Other terms that are often verbally agreed on are rent inclusions (i.e. does your rent include utility bills?) and restrictions on who else is allowed to live in the property with you.
While verbal agreements are difficult to prove because there are no written documents, you can use other means to show proof of what was agreed upon. The best examples would be text messages and emails. If you communicated with your landlord via SMS or email, save these digital data as you can use them to prove any verbal agreement.
Contact the experts
Implied terms in a tenancy agreement allow tenants to rely on specified terms implied by common law. They offer extra protection to you and your rights as a tenant.
If you need more information about implied laws and tenancy agreements in general, you can get in touch with expert tenant solicitors. If you need any advice in relation to housing disrepair and getting repairs fixed by your landlord, get in touch with the experts at Disrepair Claim.