Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements (AST): What You Need to Know
If you are a landlord or a tenant in the UK, it is essential to understand the basics of an assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST). This type of agreement governs the relationship between a landlord and a tenant and sets out the legal responsibilities of each party during the tenancy period.
What is an AST?
An AST is a type of tenancy agreement used for renting residential properties in England and Wales. It provides a legal framework for the landlord and tenant and includes important terms and conditions related to the tenancy. The agreement typically includes details such as the name of the parties involved, the term of the tenancy, the rental amount, and the security deposit.
Under the Housing Act 1988, an AST is the most common and widely used tenancy agreement in England and Wales. It provides certain protection for both landlords and tenants, as well as specific rights and obligations for each party.
Who can sign an AST?
An AST is typically used for private landlords and tenants renting a property in England and Wales. It is suitable for most residential properties, including houses and flats, although it is not suitable for all types of accommodation.
For example, an AST cannot be used for tenancies where the rent is more than £100,000 per year, or where the tenant is sharing living space with the landlord or their family. Additionally, an AST may not be suitable for tenancies that have a fixed term of more than three years.
What are the obligations of a landlord under an AST?
The landlord has several obligations under the AST, including:
– Providing a safe and habitable property
– Ensuring that the property meets all legal requirements, such as gas and electrical safety inspections
– Providing the tenant with a copy of the government`s “How to Rent” guide
– Protecting the tenant`s deposit in a government-approved scheme
– Giving the tenant at least 24 hours` notice before entering the property
– Carrying out any necessary repairs and maintenance
What are the obligations of a tenant under an AST?
The tenant has several obligations under the AST, including:
– Paying the rent on time
– Keeping the property clean and tidy
– Not causing damage to the property
– Not subletting the property without the landlord`s permission
– Informing the landlord of any necessary repairs or maintenance
What happens at the end of an AST?
At the end of the tenancy period, the landlord and tenant may either renew the agreement, enter into a new agreement, or end the tenancy. If a new agreement is not reached, the tenant may be required to vacate the property, and the landlord may use the deposit to cover any unpaid rent or damages.
In conclusion, an AST is a crucial legal document that governs the relationship between a landlord and a tenant in England and Wales. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of each party, and it is essential to ensure that the agreement is properly drawn up and adhered to throughout the tenancy period. If you are a landlord or tenant, it is advisable to seek the advice of a qualified solicitor or legal professional to ensure that your rights are protected and that you fully understand your obligations.