Assured Shorthold Tenancies

The most common type of tenancy agreement in residential lettings in England and Wales is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy or AST for short. If you are in the process of arranging a new letting of a flat or house this is almost certainly the type of tenancy that will apply. From a landlord's point of view the AST is attractive because it means that you should be able to regain possession after the initial term of the agreement, normally six months. You can have ASTs for longer than six months but any longer than three years and you have to have a deed so you will need specialist legal advice. If you are thinking about letting for a term of more than a year or so you should certainly take specialist advice.

These are the main requirements for an AST to apply:

  • The property is let as separate accommodation
  • The property is the tenant's main home
  • The tenant is an individual


These are the circumstances where an AST cannot be used

  • If the letting is at a rent of more than £100,000 pa or less than £250 (£1,000 in London).
  • Holiday homes
  • If the landlord will live in the same property
  • The property has more than two acres of agricultural land with it or is being let on an agricultural tenancy
  • The property is being let to a private limited company


As mentioned earlier, one of the most important features of an AST from the landlord’s point of view is that at the end of the initial fixed term it is normally straightforward to regain possession. From the tenant's perspective these tenancies means that the rent is fixed for the initial term.
 

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