Oral agreements for less than three years have certain implied terms such as monthly rent in advance, tenant responsibility for utility payments and for running repairs to the interior – and with a landlord right of entry on 24 hours’ notice. Landlord responsibilities include repairs to the exterior, main structure and tanks. A landlord should also keep services in working order.

Tenancy agreements are legal contracts to be read and considered carefully prior to signing. Reading a tenancy agreement is less daunting if you know core terms to look out for.

There are also many other terms and conditions in a tenancy agreement, many of which are typical while some are unique to the property, or to the parties.

Traditionally a tenancy agreement is prepared by a landlord’s side and so likely favours the landlord.

All terms are negotiable, but if a property is under rent control, there is a maximum permitted rent and the security deposit should not exceed two weeks’ rent. Whether the landlord or tenant has the upper hand in negotiations depends on the state of the market and how flexible each party is to reach a deal.

The security deposit is usually paid before the rental period starts. A wise landlord will prefer not to provide a key to a tenant until after receipt of the security deposit and the first month’s rent.

Typically tenancy agreements permit deposit deductions for non-payment of rent, righting tenant wrongs, eviction and legal costs. If a deposit is insufficient, a well drafted tenancy agreement requires a tenant to make good any shortfall.

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Insight

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Bermuda

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