Article reference: UK-IA-RES22

Letting a room: finding the right type of legal agreement

Using the right type of legal agreement for letting a single room is important. If you get it wrong, your renter may have far more rights than you intended, and it may be much more difficult to ask him to leave.

Net Lawman has a large range of documents for letting residential property, but finding the right one for your circumstances can sometimes be difficult. So, we have created this quick guide to help you find exactly the right type of agreement.

Resident landlords

If the landlord will live at the same property for the majority of the time, use a residental licence to occupy such as this agreement.

An agreement that grants a licence to occupy doesn't create a tenancy in law, and therefore doesn't give your lodger legal rights regarding the minimum number of months he or she can stay in the property and how much notice you give him or her to move out. You could use it if the person renting the room is only staying a couple of weeks, or if he or she stays much longer.

Give yourself extra protection by making the duration of the licence short (less than one year) and renewing the agreement if you want to continue it after this date.

Student landlords living in the same property

If you have bought a property for your son or daughter whilst he or she is at university, and he or she will let rooms to friends for each academic year, you should use a lodger agreement that has been tailored specifically for student letting.

For all other situations

Use an assured shorthold tenancy agreement (called an AST for short). Net Lawman has one specifically edited for letting a room.

Note though that by law (except by mutual agreement):

  • the minimum term of an AST is 6 months - neither landlord nor tenant can cancel earlier
  • you will have to give your tenant a specific type of notice when you want him to leave
  • you will have to give your tenant at least 2 months notice to leave

The most common use of an AST when letting a room, would be where you let a single property to multiple tenants who don't know each other on an individual basis.

Further help

If you need any further help, please contact us and ask. We have the largest range of tenancy agreements on the Internet, and should be able to help you find the one you need.

Please note that the information provided on this page:

  • Does not provide a complete or authoritative statement of the law;
  • Does not constitute legal advice by Net Lawman;
  • Does not create a contractual relationship;
  • Does not form part of any other advice, whether paid or free.
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