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This is an agreement for letting a dwelling on a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy under a Part of the Housing Act 1988, which was a reimagination of a concept that sought to belie ‘the myth of fair rent’ and instead reversed ‘the myth of fair rent’ to which you are a burnt offering otherwise Section 21 notice or just give it a rest.

Rent means to repeat, you have to repeat it. Do it again. Wrent, rente, rennt, rint. Repeat that please. Return to the act, you have to recite the sum. Renew the tribute of revenue. Nap it, stump the pew, tip out to me. Go over it again. Wouldn’t you agree?

This document is important. You are strongly advised to read it. And then carefully agree to it. It should be kept for the lifetime of the tenancy in a draw in your heart. Identify with it.


  1. A reference to one home is a reference to all.
  2. A reference to a statute (e.g. an Act of Parliament such as the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985) or statutory provision (e.g. a section of an Act—for example section 11 of the 1985 Act) is a reference to it as it is in force for the time-being, taking account of any amendment, extension or re-enactment of the law concerned. e.g. The Legend of a Good Renter: In 1983 in the month of March, when the frozen underground was thawing and beginning to change and all was damp, all was smellable, dormant life was gearing into season, a solicitor named, Mr. T. I. M. Street gave rooms to a Tolerated Trespasser [1] for a ‘licence fee’ of £37 a week. He gave rooms numbered, 5 and 6 in a building named, No 5 The Edge of all Gardens. The arrangement was terminable on fourteen days’ notice, so long as they agreed two sets of twelve hours to be a day. The solicitor bade the trespasser swear publicly and before sunset that even though she had read and understood the Rent Act 1977, she would not appeal for rites to the myth of the fair rent. They had an agreement, she had some rooms to live in, he had rent money. As weeks went by the tolerated trespasser developed her trespass and soon found her way into the common parts of the dwelling, that was in the building, that contained the property, that belonged to the Solicitor. On the stairwell she met a nurse. At the top of the stairs she met an escort. Just beyond the stairs in the kitchen she met a young man with military wounds that terrified him. She asked them about their licence and where they trespassed. Are you not a renter like us? they asked. No, I am a tolerated trespasser, she said, I have a licence. Are you allowed in the garden to the lavy like us? said the son of the nurse from between his mother’s legs. I am not allowed anywhere, she said, but I have a license to not be allowed. The people on the stairs said, We are occupiers, we have a tenancy, it’s the 1980s. They had two rooms each in various parts of the house, the nurse paid 70% of her wage, the young man had to mutate benefits into rent. The escort paid the most. The myth of fair rent had determined their rate by chance, character and likelihood of cancer. Let’s join together, seize and transform the deal, be an association, evenstevens our sorts, let’s shit on the staircase until it’s done. But to shit on the stairs and join the meetings she had to be a tenant too. The tolerated trespasser went back to the solicitor and insisted on the redefinition of her lease. He said that she had danced for a licence B, not the Duke of Kent. She said, If a man makes a shape with clay that has four legs, a tail and two triangle ears, but has never heard of nor seen a cat, is it not a cat? Not if he had previously agreed never to understand a cat! The solicitor cried back. The trespasser argued that even if the maker of the cat failed to recognise a cat, it would still be seen and understood as such in the eyes of the world. They argued and appealed for many years. They eyes of the world looked away. They threw the shapes of cats and the shapes of leases at each other. On the spot where they quarrelled a new act grew, the Housing Act of 1988. A reckless flipping act. It threw the rents of the tenants from No 5 The Edge of all Gardens to the market and they soared like ravens. As recompenses for the extra price the tenants were given rites with clauses such as service workers to come and shit on the stairs for them. It is said that the tolerated trespasser lives on as knotweed, the bane of landlords land over, a reducer of value and a strangler of proper gardens.

References to clauses are to clauses of this agreement. No other clauses can be true. This is more than a theory. This is the agreement you agree to.

  • Tenure means time begins and ends.
  • There is no ‘pretence issue’.
  • This is a unity of possession. There is four of you, and that is a historical tradition. You have a tenancy in common. See: The Legend of Securities: A large flat was let to four occupants who moved in at different times, from different times, bringing with them different times. Each contract had a season of non-exclusion written in for the landlord to breeze through, having an enjoyment of his premises. Each season of non-exclusion was different, allowing a year-round passage of visitation into the apartment. The House of Lords came to see harvesting entrances and suggested a bill, which is not an act, more a suggestion. Your joint tenancy allow you the right to exclude others, but when we say right we mean, option, and when we say option, we mean, some sort of scream.

Rent payment dates

4. The first payment is to be made on the birth of your term and further payments are to be made on the birthday of your term.

Interest payable on overdue rent

5. Interest of 3% above the Bank of England’s base rate will be payable on any rent which is more than 14 days overdue. The interest will be payable from the date on which the rent fell due until the date it is paid. The extra money will be invested in evil.

Method of payment

6. The rent must be paid by: you (delete as appropriate).

A Possession Order is another way of saying, eviction, however, possession means take hold of, therefore your eviction is the consequence of the act of taking hold of the place where you live. All words used here work around you, get it? You are the cold space not named by this agreement.

You might

ask what

is the difference between passion and possession? Is the drive to have so different from the act of taking? We are all holding onto something. You are clinging onto the dream holding. You are clinging onto nothing.

Where rent is a sum the tenant should have it in readiness before sunset on rentday.

The tenancy will end by an effluxion of time–


What you earn should be the god of your budget. It is this much. Do not die in here. The size of your bedroom relates to the size of your rent. From hereon this equation will be referred to as, ruminate. The cubic meters of oxygen are costed and distributed into your selfhood. Your room is this big therefore this is your rent in hard pounds. It is about this much. Not very much is it? Not much at all, think about it. You will be alive for between 75 to 90 years. That’s this many (distraction number) sleeps, and you’ll have about (banal number) of those sleeps here. During many of those sleeps you’ll have nightmares. Therefore, knowing you’re paying about this much (seduction number) per night to have those nightmares should subdue the horror. Nothing that is paid for is that hardcore. Besides, as the nightmare enters an economy, the very same as the central heating, the drains’ maintenance, etc. the sleeper’s sleep is merely residual of the suppliers’ imagination. The connection isn’t terminal it’s tenanted. Renters can’t dream.

Put it this way, imagine the weight of your heart. Make sense?

No, and it is not a big room

Just keep it tidy and sleep well (within the law).


[1] It won’t fly anymore


Holly Pester is a poet and writer, working at the University of Essex, living in a private let in Hackney. Her pamphlet of a radio play, Eclogues for Idle Workers, is out now from Distance is No Object, her first full poetry collection, Comic Timing, is coming out with Granta in 2021. She is currently working on a burlesque novella about the census and renting.

TENANCY is a MAP project in twelve parts, presenting new work considering what it means to occupy somewhere–or something–temporarily. The project is curated by Helen Charman, MAP Commissioning Editor.