Residential licence to occupy explained

17th January 2015 by

If you need help writing up a licence to occupy, residential solicitors at Healys could help. Furthermore, if you are a landlord or tenant encountering problems due to the wording of a licence to occupy document, we might also be able to help resolve these issues.

What is a licence to occupy?

A licence to occupy is a document which allows the proprietor of a residential property to retain ownership while another party lives in the property for a pre-determined amount of time.

These licences are also used by landlords who own commercial properties from which businesses not owned by the licensor wish to run.

This contract is also known as a “tenancy at will”, and usually lasts six months, or a year – however it can last longer.

What a tenant agrees to

Usually, when a tenant in a residential property signs this agreement, they agree to keep certain parts of the inside of the property in good condition, as well as other factors such as having to move out by a specific date if they have not renewed their contract with the landlord (or estate agent).

The agreement will typically state that the tenant is not allowed to make changes to the property, such as repaint rooms, must make the landlord or estate agent aware of any repairs required in the property, and must leave the property in a good condition when they eventually move out.

Sometimes this will mean that tenants need to have the property professionally cleaned, or pay for items to be replaced, if the landlord believes the property has not been correctly maintained, or there has been some damage to the property or items within it.

What a landlord agrees to

A landlord has a duty to make sure that the property is habitable before any tenants move in, must keep the exterior of the property in a condition which does not put tenants at risk of injury, and should be available (as far as their agreement states) to undertake repairs to the property or have a contractor make repairs in a suitable amount of time.

At the end of the contract

When the licence to occupy comes to an end, the tenant must vacate the property, unless they have signed a new contract allowing them to remain for a further pre-decided term.

The licensor has the right to decide not to renew the contract, or to terminate the contract, if the tenant has failed to keep to certain conditions within it – for example paying rent on time.

Help with residential licence to occupy

Healys’ residential conveyancing solicitors can help you with issues surrounding licence to occupy documents – whether you are a tenant or landlord – or assist you in writing one up if you are the owner of a property.

Contact us at our London or Brighton offices – serving the whole of the UK – for more information about our services.