This is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement template for a residential property which sets out the duties and responsibilities of the non resident landlord and tenant. The property can be furnished or unfurnished and the tenant(s) must be an individual(s).
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Clause covering Right to Rent checks added - September 2016
This is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement template for a residential property which sets out the duties and responsibilities between a (non-resident) landlord and a tenant. It is the most common tenancy agreement used by private landlords when letting residential property in England and Wales. The property or any part of it can be furnished or unfurnished, with or without a garden, and the tenant or tenants must be an individual or individuals (i.e. not a company or partnership). It gives special rights to the landlord to repossess the property at the end of the term and special rights to the tenant to apply to a rent assessment committee for a rent determination in certain circumstances.
From 1 October 2015 landlords in England must provide new tenants with prescribed information about the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. The booklet is available here.
From 1 February 2016 all residential landlords/agents in England need to check that someone has the right to live in the UK before letting a property to them. This includes landlords who take in lodgers or sub-let property. Failure to carry out proper checks can result in criminal sanctions from an unlimited fine to five years' imprisonment or both. It applies to new tenancy agreements entered into on or after 1 February 2016. For further information see the official code of practice.
We offer two types of Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement - one for a 'House' and one for a 'Room'. The shorthold tenancy agreement 'House' version is suitable for use when letting a whole flat or house to a single tenant or joint tenants. In this case the tenants are jointly and severally liable for the tenancy (i.e. all tenants are jointly responsible for payment of rent and not individual shares). This is generally easier to manage than the Room version.
The shorthold tenancy agreement 'Room' version is suitable for use when leasing a room within a flat or house to a tenant. If the property has several such tenants, each tenant is responsible for their share of bills etc. This is useful in situations where it is easier to find single lodgers to occupy rooms within a property where each lodger wishes to stay for different periods of time.
A landlord or letting agent who takes deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales must join a Government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme. Within 30 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord must provide the tenant with details of the scheme chosen by him to safeguard the deposit. Details of the 3 schemes and further information can be found at: the Deposit Protection Service, My Deposits and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. N.B. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme has special clauses which it requires in its members' tenancy agreements, which the agreements here do not include. However, these are available to members from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and can be appended to the Tenancy Agreement.
It is important to have a carefully drafted written agreement when renting a residential property, setting out the obligations of both landlord and tenant.
Both versions of the Tenancy Agreement form can be used by any private landlord in England and Wales renting one or more domestic property to a tenant as their main or principal dwelling. The model agreement has been drafted to allow the apartment or house to be furnished or unfurnished and complies with the law of England and Wales.
It is recommended that the lease is prepared in duplicate and both copies should be signed by all parties, with both the landlord and tenant retaining a copy. An inventory should also be prepared of any furnishings or equipment included in the let.
The Housing Act 1988 defines several main criteria for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy - also referred to as an AST – to be established, namely:
A tenancy is NOT an Assured Shorthold Tenancy where:
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement can be for any length of time but is normally agreed for a period of six months up to a period of twelve months. This is known as a 'fixed term' tenancy. The landlord may agree to a fixed term of less than six months if the tenant agrees. However, the tenant has the right to stay in the property for a minimum period of six months. This means that even if a fixed term of less than six months is agreed, the landlord does not have a guaranteed right to possession if the tenant refuses to leave during the first six months of the tenancy. Tenants should realise that the fixed term commitment is a contract and that they are committed to stay the full term, or, if they leave early, to pay the full fixed term rent.
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy can also be a 'periodic' tenancy which runs from week to week or month to month. A periodic tenancy is automatically created at the end of a fixed term tenancy if the parties do nothing (i.e. if they do not sign another agreement) and the tenancy will be on the same terms as the original agreement. Very few Assured Shorthold Tenancies start out by being periodic. This generally happens when the fixed term ends.
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement entitles the landlord to repossess the property at the end of the agreed term (or after six months if the term was for less). This means that the landlord can evict the tenant after the initial fixed term without a reason.
Bringing a tenancy or a license to an end (termination of the tenancy or licence) requires certain notices to be served by either the landlord or the tenant (or licensee). Further information can be found here (Notice to Quit) and here (Section 8 Notice).
Under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, the landlord and tenant must agree the rent before the tenancy commences. The rent is usually the 'market rent' which is dependant on rent charged for similar properties in the area and the number of properties available in the area.
During the rental period the landlord cannot change the rent without agreement from the renter or unless there is a clause in the tenancy agreement agreeing to this. So the rent remains at the agreed rate until the end of the fixed term. The landlord can increase the rent if the tenancy agreement is renewed after the initial fixed term. However, if the tenant thinks the rent being charged is excessively high, an AST gives special rights to the tenant to apply to a rent assessment committee for a rent determination. A rent assessment committee is an independent body whose aim is to decide on a reasonable market rent for the property being let.
This tenancy agreement template is suitable for use in England and Wales and includes clauses covering:
This document is also available as part of a Property Annual Subscription (£70.50) or a Full Annual Subscription (£199). These subscriptions give you access to wide range of documents, packages and forms for a single annual discounted fee. It is also available as part of the Tenancy Package (£35.25). If you are looking to rent a room in your own home you need a Rent a Room Agreement.
If you are looking for a Tenancy Agreement for use in Scotland, follow this link: Tenancy Agreement-Scotland