Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST)
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Completion notes included
When should this tenancy agreement be used?
This is the most commonly used form. It can be used for houses and flats i.e. self contained units. It can also be used where a house or flat is rented as a whole to a group such as groups of students, young professionals etc. On the other hand, if you are renting out individual rooms then normally the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement - Room Only is the appropriate form.
There is a separate version for use if you are protecting a deposit with DepositGuard. You must use the DepositGuard Compliant Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement
What type of tenancy does this create?
The tenancy created by this agreement is an assured shorthold tenancy within the Housing Act 1988.
Do I need to protect the deposit?
Any deposit paid must be protected under one of the Government approved tenancy deposit schemes.
How do I end this tenancy?
You can use the Section 21 procedure to obtain possession. 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).
Do you use guarantors?
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).
For more information on guarantor obligations and cancellation rights please see the explanatory guide attached to the RLA guarantor forms here.
Is this the correct Tenancy Agreement for you? Read the RLA Guide to Tenancy Agreements.
RLA Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST)
The tenancy agreement is a legally binding document and is critical to your tenancy - clearly defining the obligations and responsibilities between the Landlord and the Tenant.
The RLA Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) offers the following benefits:
- Save the Tenancy Agreement - Enabling you to store the agreement on your computer.
- Complete On-Screen - Meaning you no longer have to hand-write the agreement out.
- Easy to Understand - The agreement is in plain English, meaning there is no jargon, gobbledygook and other confusing language.
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme Ready - The RLA tenancy agreement includes information relating to the handling of deposits.
- Proven Protection - The RLA tenancy agreement is in widespread daily use and is widely acknowledged in the industry. It has protected landlords for many years.
- Constantly Developed - As soon as Housing Law is changed, our tenancy agreement is updated by the RLA. Use in confidence that you will not fall foul of legislation.
- FREE Telephone Support - Advice on any aspect of the tenancy lifecycle is available to RLA members
- Completion Instructions - are available to assist you in completing the tenancy agreement.
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. The Green Deal has only recently been introduced so it will take time before there are many properties where energy efficiency improvements have been carried out giving Green Deal Finance. Green Deal Finance is repaid 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.
If you are in this situation then the wording you need to insert is available here on the government's website. Alternatively please contact the Landlord Advice Team for assistance. - Last updated, February 2013
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).
What's new in the 2017 tenancies?
In light of the decision in Broadley v Leeds City Council, the RLA has decided to move back to using contractual periodic tenancies instead of statutory periodic tenancies. This amendment means that whenever you give this tenancy for 6 months or more, the tenant will be liable for council tax until the tenant's valid notice expires. Previously, if a tenant left without giving notice or before their notice expired, then the landlord became liable from the moment they left.
In addition, the clause relating to the storage of the tenant's belongings after the tenancy ends has been updated. Now the landlord can dispose of the goods after 14 days provided they have followed the procedure set out in the tenancy clause. Previously this could entail waiting up to 3 months to dispose of the goods.
Members in Wales should be aware that this means that they will need to serve a notice under section 21(4) of the Housing Act 1988 to evict a tenant in a periodic tenancy rather than under section 21(1) of the Act.
Members in England and Wales should contact the Landlord Advice Team directly on 03330 142 998, before signing the agreement, if they intend to take all of the rent for the entire tenancy in one payment.
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