Property and Homes

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is a type of tenancy agreement commonly used in the UK for letting residential properties. It is the most common form of tenancy agreement in England and Wales and is governed by the Housing Act 1988.

So, at its core, an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is a binding legal written contract between a landlord and a tenant, setting out the terms and conditions of the tenancy. 

Key provisions of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement typically include:

  • Names of the landlord and tenant(s) as it is on their official documentation such as a passport or drivers licence.
  • Property address and description of the rental property (it is also goo practice to have a forward address for the tenant added to the tenancy).
  • Commencement and termination dates of the tenancy (ensure that this coincides with the date payment is due for the property)
  • Rent amount and payment schedule (so how frequently rent will ned to be paid by)
  • Deposits and any restrictions on their use (ensure to give the tenant the prescribed information one the deposit has been registered into the landlord’s chosen deposit scheme)
  • Restrictions on use of the property, such as restrictions on smoking or having pets (landlords still need to be reasonable when it comes to refusing a request from the tenant(s) should they request to keep pets at the property)
  • Responsibilities of the landlord and tenant, such as maintenance and repair obligations
  • Provisions for renewing or ending the tenancy (consider putting in a break clause)
  • Provisions for subletting the property
  • Provisions for resolving disputes

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements are usually for a fixed term, usually 6 or 12 months, after which they can be renewed by both parties or the tenancy can come to an end. However it is important to note that should both parties agree, you can have Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements for over 24 months if you wish to do so but make sure that as landlords, you have considered the viability of this with regards to raising rents.

It is important to have Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements that are written down and signed by both parties as it also provides the landlord with the right to regain possession of their property at the end of the fixed term. They also provide the tenant with security of tenure, meaning that they cannot be evicted without a valid reason and a court order. Having the terms written shows the clear intentions of both parties.

It is important to seek legal advice or use a professional template to ensure that your Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is legally binding and complies with UK law. This will help to protect your rights and interests and prevent disputes during the tenancy. If you need a template to help you get started then click here. 

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