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Want to know a trade secret? The best way to avoid contract disputes is to have a clear contract.

Tip number two is that tenancy agreements can be written to favour a landlord or a tenant.

Tenancy agreements are contracts. Did you negotiate yours – or did you just sign whatever the landlord or letting agent put in front of you?

The Government has published what it hopes is a balanced and comprehensive Model assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

Along with the model tenancy agreement, the Government has also published, How to rent – a checklist for renting in England.

If you read these before putting pen to paper, you can see issues which may need to be addressed in your landlord’s proposed agreement.

I have heard landlords say, “Don’t worry, we can deal with x later”.

A prospective tenant may be frightened of a landlord saying, “Don’t you trust me?”.

It’s not about whether a prospective tenant thinks a landlord is a nice guy or trustworthy – it’s about everybody knowing exactly what their rights and obligations are before they sign.

I resurrect one of my favourite talks on negotiating contracts, Mike Monterio’s, F*ck you, pay me and recommend it to anyone about to sign any agreement

This is one of a trio of posts on Tenants’ Rights I’ve published in the last few days. Please also read, Tenants’ Rights: Get Advice & Tenants’ Rights: Get Advice (2) as they are aimed at helping tenants think about when they may need to get a fixed fee solicitor or barrister in to give them a steer – and some ideas for further reading.

See also, Tenants’ Rights: Get Advice (Why should I pay you when I can get it for free?)