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Writing Your Own Tenancy Agreement

Writing Your Own Tenancy Agreement: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, having a solid tenancy agreement is essential for a successful rental experience. While many people opt to use pre-made agreements or hire a lawyer to draw one up, it’s entirely possible to create your own tenancy agreement from scratch. In this article, we’ll go over the key elements to include in your agreement, as well as some tips for ensuring that it’s legally sound and practical.

Start with the Basics

The first thing you’ll want to include in your tenancy agreement is a clear outline of the basic terms of the lease. This includes the start and end dates of the lease, the amount of rent to be paid, and any penalties for late payments or other breaches of contract. Be sure to specify how the rent should be paid (e.g. cash, check, bank transfer) and who is responsible for utility bills.

Specify the Property and Its Use

Next, you’ll want to define the property being rented and exactly how it can be used. This includes the address of the property, the specific unit or rooms being rented, and any common areas that tenants may have access to. You should also include any restrictions on the use of the property, such as noise levels or the number of occupants.

Include Details on Maintenance and Repairs

One of the key responsibilities of landlords is to ensure that the property is well-maintained and in good condition. Your tenancy agreement should lay out exactly who is responsible for what when it comes to repairs and maintenance. This might include specifying which general maintenance tasks tenants are responsible for (e.g. changing light bulbs, minor repairs), as well as outlining how major repairs will be handled (e.g. who to contact, how quickly they will be addressed).

Provide Clear Terms for Security Deposits

Security deposits are a common feature of most leases, and they are designed to protect landlords against damage to the property caused by tenants. Your tenancy agreement should specify the amount of the security deposit, as well as the terms under which it will be returned (e.g. after a certain period of time, upon inspection of the property, etc.). Be sure to also outline any circumstances under which the deposit may be forfeited (e.g. non-payment of rent, damage beyond normal wear and tear).

Consider Hiring a Lawyer

While it is possible to create your own tenancy agreement, it is always a good idea to have a lawyer review it before finalizing it. A lawyer can ensure that the agreement is legally sound and provides comprehensive coverage of all relevant issues. They can also advise on any local or state laws that may impact the terms of the lease.


Creating your own tenancy agreement can be a great way to ensure that all parties are on the same page and that the rental experience is as smooth as possible. By including the elements discussed above and seeking advice from a legal professional, you can create an agreement that is both comprehensive and practical.

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