Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) – A Landlord’s Guide

Assured Shorthold Tenancies, also known as ASTs, are the most common type of private tenancy in the UK.

For a tenancy to be eligible for an AST, it must be the tenant’s main residence and you, the landlord, must not live in the property.

Other information you should know about Assured Shorthold Tenancies are:

  • They are only available to private tenants or groups of private tenants.
  • The tenant must have a minimum right of occupation for at least six months.
  • The annual rent cannot be more than £100,000.
  • If you are considering letting the property to holidaymakers, making the property a holiday let will require a special license agreement and an AST cannot be used there.

A more comprehensive overview of Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements can be found by clicking here.

Many private tenants are provided with assured shorthold tenancies which often run for an initial period of 12 months, although many tenants (and landlords) are now looking for and signing up to longer tenancies.

The contract

The tenancy agreement should be signed by all parties before the tenancy starts, where it should outline the rent, how long the tenancy lasts, the obligations of the tenant (s) and the landlord, as well as the process of repairs.

The tenant then commits to paying the agreed rent for at least the length of the contract and normally pays in advance for each month.

The deposit

If you hold a tenant’s deposit from an AST, you are required to ensure that it is registered within an Approved Deposit Scheme and provide the tenant with the correct information explaining what happens to the deposit during the tenancy. If you have not registered the deposit correctly, there are potentially large fines of up to three times the value of the deposit and it will prevent you from serving notice on your tenant to vacate the property.

Find out more about tenancy deposit schemes and what you need to do as the landlord by clicking here.

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