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Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement - Room Only

When should this tenancy agreement be used?

This is for use where a non resident landlord rents out an individual room to a tenant in a shared house or a bedsit. The accommodation will be non self contained so that the tenant will share facilities (e.g. a bathroom or kitchen) with other tenants in the same house/building.

There is a separate version for use if you protect a deposit with DepositGuard. You must use DepositGuard compliant Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement - Room Only.

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What type of tenancy does this create?

The tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy governed by the Housing Act 1988.

Do I need a different tenancy agreement?

If you are renting out an individual room and protecting your deposit through DepositGuard, then you should use the DepositGuard Room Only Tenancy Agreement.

Where you are renting out the whole property on one tenancy, and protecting your tenant's deposit through a deposit scheme other than DepositGuard, you should use our standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) instead. If you are renting out the whole property on one tenancy and you are protecting the deposit via DepositGuard, then you should use the DepositGuard AST instead.

In some circumstances, an assured shorthold tenancy agreement of any type would be the wrong type of agreement. The RLA has a number of other types of tenancy agreement to cover these circumstances so where you are letting your property to a company, you are thinking of getting a lodger for your own home, or you need a non-assured tenancy agreement we have the right tenancy agreement for you.

If you are still unsure which tenancy you need then you can also check our guide to tenancy agreements.

Do I need to protect the deposit?

Any deposit paid must be protected under one of the Government approved tenancy deposit schemes. This includes DepositGuardthe RLA's tenancy deposit scheme operated by The Dispute Service (TDS).

Can I use this agreement where I protect the deposit with DepositGuard?

Yes but you would need to add additional wording to the tenancy agreement to make it compliant with TDS' requirements. You should use the DepositGuard version of the room only AST, not the standard version instead as these clauses are already inserted for you.

How do I end this tenancy?

To end the tenancy after the fixed term finishes, you can use the Section 21 procedure to obtain possession. If you are unsure which is the correct section 21 notice for you, then you can use our simple quiz to help you make the decision.

In the event of tenancy arrears or other tenancy breach you will need to serve a Section 8 notice (e.g. relying Ground 8 for rent arrears).

Why should I use the RLA Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?

The RLA Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) offers the following benefits:

What's new in the 2019 tenancies?

  • From June 1st 2019, landlords in England will be barred from charging most fees to tenants. The fees ban will come into force in a slightly different form in Wales from September 2019. The penalties for this can be severe, with fines of up to £30,000 or ban on serving section 21 for landlords or agents who try and charge a prohibited fee.
  • The RLA's 2019 tenancy has been amended to reflect the tenant fee ban. A number of clauses have been adjusted or removed so that landlords will not be in breach of the legislation.

In addition we have introduced a rent review clause. This clause allows landlords to agree how much the rent may increase by every 12 months. The landlord then serves a simple letter every 12 months rather than potentially having to go to tribunal to decide what rent is fair.Do I need a privacy notice?

From May 25th 2018 you must provide all of your current and new tenants and/or guarantors with your privacy notice. The RLA has created guidance on this, along with a sample privacy notice for use exclusively by our members.

What else do I need before I sign this tenancy?

Many experienced landlords and agents get into the good habit of providing a welcome pack for their tenants to sign prior to them moving in. This lets the tenant know all of their responsibilities, but it also protects the landlord by covering everything they are legally required to do beforehand.

A good welcome pack should include:

In addition to the welcome pack, you should never sign the tenancy agreement, or hand over the keys, until you have successfully completed your referencing and credit checks of the tenants or guarantors. The tenant should also pay the deposit and their first rent period in advance before you agree to sign the agreement.

Warning

You must perform the right to rent checks for everyone over 18 who wants to move into the property. If you don't do this before signing, you could go to jail!

Is this tenancy suitable for HMOs? If so, why?

Yes this tenancy is ideal for HMO properties.

If you are renting out a property to 3 or more people, at least 2 of which are unrelated, then you will need to comply with the HMO management regulations or risk significant penalties. The best way of doing this is to have regular access to the property for inspections. As this tenancy type allows the landlord access to the communal areas of the property, this is ideal for the management of an HMO property.

I want to use a guarantor. What do I need to be aware of?

To avoid potentially successful unfair terms challenges, the RLA recommends that a new guarantor form should be provided to the guarantor for their signature prior to every new tenancy. This includes renewing an existing tenancy (or when you expressly agree to extend a tenancy).

You must send an unsigned, but completed, copy of the proposed assured shorthold tenancy agreement alongside the deed of guarantee. You should also allow the proposed guarantor sufficient time to read the document and take legal advice if necessary. This will typically be at least 7 days before the start of the tenancy agreement. Failure to do so will likely make your guarantee unenforceable.

For more information on guarantor obligations and cancellation rights please see the explanatory guide attached to the RLA guarantor forms.

Renting out a property with a Green Deal charge?

Are you entering a Tenancy Agreement with a new tenant for a property for which a Green Deal charge is payable?

If so - the Tenancy Agreement must contain a prescribed form of acknowledgement under which the tenant agrees to pay off the Green Deal charge.

If you fail to comply you may well have to repay the full Green Deal charge at once rather than repaying via a charge on the electricity meter.

Where a new tenant becomes the bill payer, they must be given a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) giving details of the Green Deal before they view the property or at the first viewing and then sign the required acknowledgement in the Tenancy Agreement itself to say that they agree to pay the ongoing Green Deal charges.

The wording you need to insert is available on the government's website. Alternatively, please contact the Landlord Advice Team for assistance.

Unsure whether your tenant is over 18?

If there is any uncertainty as to whether the prospective tenant is aged 18 or over you must check. Obtain a copy of their birth certificate/other proof of age. If you let someone under 18 use this agreement it could be much more difficult to obtain possession (e.g. due to rent arrears or because the tenancy has run out, whilst they remain under the age of 18).

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