Nicky Lloyd, Head of ESPC Lettings, discusses tenancy agreements and why it’s important to read them carefully.

What is a tenancy agreement?

When renting a home, your tenancy agreement is a crucial part of the process, laying down the law on what you can and can’t do, what is expected from you as a tenant and what the terms of your lease are.

In order to minimise potential problems in the future or disputes, you should pay very close attention to your tenancy agreement before you sign it. You should know exactly what your obligations are and be fully aware of the rules and conditions of the home you’re living in.

For example, your landlord may have specific rules when it comes to keeping pets or smoking in their rental property. It’s also important to know when your rent is due and whether you have any specific obligations when it comes to cleaning or utilities.

Here are some of the main questions you may have as a tenant, that your tenancy agreement will be able to answer.

How much deposit do I need to pay on a rental property?

The tenancy agreement will confirm the deposit amount you owe and how it will be protected. It’s compulsory for landlords to place a tenant’s deposit into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme, and this should also be outlined in your lease.

Can I sublet my rental property?

It will be clear in your tenancy agreement whether you’re allowed to sublet the rental property or not. If you sublet without permission from your landlord, the consequences can be severe, with sizeable fines and potentially legal action brought against you.

Will I be allowed to redecorate my rental property?

The tenancy agreement will outline whether you are able to redecorate or not, and whether you require permission from your landlord for any works you undertake. It will also stipulate on things such as sticking posters up, adding your own furniture and maintaining garden space.

How much rent do I pay and when do I pay it?

The cost of your rent and how it’ll need to be paid will be outlined in the tenancy agreement, while information on how and when the rent will be received will also be included.

How much notice do I need to give when ending a tenancy?

In your tenancy agreement, it should be made clear how much notice you need to give if you want to bring your tenancy to a close.

Why is it important to have a tenancy agreement?

Whilst moving home is often an exciting experience, people can, in their eagerness to secure a rental property, sign a tenancy agreement without giving it the necessary levels of scrutiny.

The tenancy agreement includes so much important information. It’s absolutely in your best interest to make sure you review it and understand what’s expected from you before signing.

Find your new rental flat in Edinburgh

If you’re interested in renting a property in Edinburgh, take a look at for properties to rent in Edinburgh and get in touch with ESPC Lettings on 0131 253 2847 or

ESPC magazine

This article appeared in the April 2021 issue of the ESPC magazine. Find out more about the ESPC magazine and read the latest issue online


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