3.7 Formal agreement
The tenancy agreement should be written in plain, intelligible language. You must give a prospective tenant enough time to read and understand the agreement before signing. You must give the tenant the opportunity to raise queries to clarify the rights and obligations of the tenancy agreement.
An appropriate payment method for the rent should be agreed with the tenant.
The tenancy agreement must be signed by the landlord or their representative. The counterpart tenancy agreement must be signed and dated by all of the tenants in order to come into effect. The tenant should be given the signed tenancy agreement. The landlord should retain the counterpart agreement.
Where letting to joint tenants, you should ensure that all tenants sign the tenancy agreement wherever possible. If this is not practical, someone else can sign on their behalf so long as they are duly authorised to do so and you have clear evidence of this authority.
Any guarantors must sign a written deed of guarantee that clearly states their obligations.
You should ensure the inventory is signed by or on behalf of the parties and dated.
You should provide the tenant with at least one complete set of keys that is recorded in the inventory.
You should consider identifying a lead tenant to whom key correspondence and enquiries are directed and who arranges rent payments. However, some legal documents need to be served on all tenants.
The tenancy agreement is a key document and care should be taken to ensure that the agreement used is appropraite for the tenancy type concerned. You can find some guidance with my online Which Tenancy Guide.