An Assured Shorthold Tenancy in a Nutshell

Assured Tenancies are the most well used tenancy agreements in the UK. The most common variation of an Assured Tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (‘AST’).  They came into existence through the House Act 1988 and it is widely used by Landlords.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

All tenancies granted after 28 February 1997, will automatically become an Assured Shorthold Tenancy unless the Landlord has provided a notice to the Tenant stipulating otherwise.

The reason why Landlords favour the use of an AST, is because it allows the property to be let while the Landlord retains possession of the property. An AST usually lasts a minimum of 6 to 12 months. Sometimes, it will include a renewal clause (to be exercised by the Landlord).

Termination of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy by the Landlord

The Landlord can terminate the AST by doing one of the following:

  • Serving the Tenant with a section 8 notice: this states that as long as the Landlord provides adequate notice to the Tenant (usually 14 days), an application can be sent to the court if the tenant has failed to meet their obligations e.g. the Tenant has not paid their rent on time.
  • Serving the Tenant with a section 21 notice: the Landlord does not need to provide a reason when serving the notice to the Tenant. This notice has informally been coined the eviction notice.

The Landlord can serve both notices on the Tenant at the same time.

Deposit for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy

If the Landlord requests a deposit from the Tenant, it must be protected under a tenant deposit scheme. Furthermore, a Landlord must return the Tenant’s deposit before serving a section 21 notice.

Please contact the Lawdit Property Department if you have any questions on Assured Shorthold Tenancies.







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