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Important Terms You Should Know in Regards to Lettings in the UK

When it comes to lettings in the UK, you will need to keep a few things in mind to run a successful business. Using the following tips will give you a hand when you need it, making sure you're ready for the challenges ahead:


An agent must keep written accounts of who holds the keys and inform tenants of the access required by the tenancy agreement terms. The only time this shouldn't be the case is in cases of emergency.

Agency Agreement (Landlords only)

Whenever you're dealing with an agent, as a landlord, you should ensure that they understand the services you are providing and what is recorded in the agreement. Services may range from finding tenants to carrying out referencing, drafting tenancy agreements, check-ins, arranging inventory, rent collection and management and the tenancy itself.
When you sign agreements, you are entering a legally binding contract and incurring a financial commitment. It must be clear how long the agency agreement will run for, as well as how it may be terminated, the notice required and whether or not any continuing liability for costs will exist after it's ended. The agents and their business terms must include all fees and confirm whether they are a member of a redress scheme such as TPO.
You must ensure you understand the terms of the agreement and the commitments you are entering with the agent. You should take care before you sign and be aware that the document you sign can be cancelled within 14 days.


You should avoid future disputes whenever you can by amending, verifying, signing and copying the inventory or check-in reports and returning the documents through a registered post. You should ensure these documents reflect the true condition used at the end of tenancy, should the deposits get disputed. When the tenancy ends, the agent or the landlord must arrange a check-out inspection to see the property's condition against the check-in report and inventory.


Security deposits due under the tenancy agreement must be protected with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The deposit money belongs to the tenant unless otherwise agreed by the tenant or the tenancy deposit scheme. Deposits must never be used to pay fees owed to the agent by the landlord.

Duty of Care

Agents must always work in the client's best interests, that is to say, the person who pays the letting agency services, which is most often the landlord. The agent must be informed as early as possible if they had any personal or other business interest in the property. Agents must also treat those renting or letting fairly and politely.

The Energy Assessor

By law, any property that is supposed to be let must have an Energy Performance Certificate. The agent might assist landlords in finding an Assessor.


Since 27 May 2015, letting and management agents must show a list of all fees, charges and penalties for any letting agency or property management service payable by landlords and tenants. This means additional fees, charges and penalties that may have been incurred during a tenancy. The same goes for fees, charges and penalties references in Tenancy Agreements and Terms of Business. There are exceptions with tenancy security deposits, not holding deposits, rent payable to landlords and fees, charges or penalties where the agent receives those from a landlord under a tenancy on behalf of someone else.