Tenancy agreements - assured shorthold tenancies

Assured shorthold tenancies are one of the most common forms of letting arrangement for residential properties in England and Wales. Though not an exhaustive list, assured shorthold tenancies are not suitable in the following circumstances:

  • If you will be living in the same property
  • If the rent is in excess of £25,000 per annum (for Wales) or £100,000 per annum (for England)
  • If the property is not your tenant’s principal home
  • If your tenant is not an individual. For example, if the tenant is a limited company or housing association 

If you have any doubt that the proposed tenancy may not be an assured shorthold tenancy then we strongly advise that you speak to a member of our property department before proceeding further as there could be implications for you.

Our commercial property team are able to prepare basic assured shorthold tenancy agreements from £150 plus VAT.

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Assured shorthold tenancies - advantages for landlords:

  1. There is a fixed date on which your tenant must leave the property; and 

  2. If any of the terms of the assured shorthold tenancy agreement are breached, you may be able to remove your tenant by an order of the court.

Whilst an assured shorthold tenancy does guarantee repossession of the property, it is still necessary to apply to the court if the tenant refuses to give up possession at the end of the specified period.

An assured shorthold tenancy can be for any period of time. However, a landlord cannot obtain possession via the courts during the fixed term of the agreement unless the tenant has breached any of their obligations under the tenancy agreement.

An assured shorthold tenancy is generally only appropriate for short term lettings of between six and 12 months. Indeed, there are no provisions for reviewing the rent within our standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement and consequently if you grant a tenancy say for a term of three years, the rent will be the same throughout. The market rent may not therefore be reflected within your assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

If you wish to grant an assured shorthold tenancy for a term greater than 12 months then, again, we advise that you speak to a member of our property department before proceeding further.

At the end of an assured shorthold tenancy, if no actions are taken by either party to renew the tenancy or by you as landlord to seek repossession, then the tenancy continues and is terminable by you on two months written notice. If however you wish your tenant to leave at the end of the assured shorthold tenancy agreement term you must give him/her two months prior notice in writing.

You may wish to obtain a deposit from your tenant to safeguard your interests in case the tenant breaks any fixtures and fittings at the property, or if any of the tenant(s) obligations, such as payment of rent, are breached. Should you wish to obtain a rent deposit for an assured shorthold tenancy, please note that there are rules in force which require landlords to place deposits received from tenants into one of two designated schemes within 14 days of receipt. Failure to comply with the rules can have serious consequences for a landlord.

Our standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement does not make provision for any third party to guarantee the obligations of the tenant. Therefore, if you do not obtain a rent deposit there is a greater risk for you. 

It should also be noted that if you have a mortgage on your property, you may have an obligation to obtain your lenders' consent before granting the assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Further, if you own the property under a lease then you may have an obligation to obtain consent from your own landlord.
 
Please note it is against our advice for you to enter into an assured shorthold tenancy agreement without first of all obtaining all necessary consents.
 
In addition to the above, if the property which you propose to let is to be occupied by persons who do not form a single household it is important that you consider the attached information in respect of 'Houses in Multiple Occupation'.
  • Residential Landlords Guide - Landlord Responsibilities

    Louise Hebborn offers guidance on the issues landlords need to consider when renting out a property.

    Louise discusses landlord responsibilities including guidance on managing deposits and disrepair. 

    [youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsK38SYWMdI"]

Assured shorthold tenancy - charges

Our commercial property team are able to prepare basic assured shorthold tenancy agreements from £150 plus VAT, however there are certain circumstances where additional charges may be applicable. Please find more information on such charges below:

  • £12 plus VAT for preparing a letter for you to send to your lender(s) requesting their consent to the letting
  • £12 plus VAT for preparing a letter for you to send to your landlord(s) requesting their consent to the letting. Please note that this does not include any consideration of your lease of your property and any restrictions that you may have in granting the assured shorthold tenancy agreement
  • £100 plus VAT for variations to our standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement to incorporate any specific requirements you may have. Please note that this is subject to a maximum of 1 hour’s further work, such time to be inclusive of all communications with you and amendments made

If you would like us to prepare your assured shorthold tenancy agreement for you, please call us on 0203 816 9303. Upon receipt of payment, we will use our reasonable endeavours to ensure documents are issued within five working days. If you have not received the documents within seven working days of making payment please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Thank you so much for your help and support with this matter. I have been a landlady for 14 years but this was my first experience with court actions and an eviction order and must admit it all felt a bit intimidating. Therefore, it was so appreciated to have the guidance and assistance to ensure the correct process.
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