If you have rented a property from a landlord after February 1997, you are automatically an assured shorthold tenant. Since then this has been the most common form of tenancy contract in the United Kingdom. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement is a document that outlines the primary conditions, details regarding the tenancy between the tenant and the owner. The assured shorthold tenancy does not provide long-term security for your stay, and the landlord can legally evict you by following due procedure.
The assured shorthold tenancy agreement is usable to property whose rents are less than £100,000 yearly, holiday home, rented to a private company or a government body. The annual rent also should not be less than £1000 in London and £250 elsewhere in the UK.
What does Assured Shorthold Tenancy contain?
AST can include a lot of details such length of tenancy, rent payable, the person responsible for the tenancy and other details. It can be hugely in detail with terms and conditions of the tenancy. Without a rigid format, it can be sourced by a company or through online sources. However, this is a legally binding agreement and should be taken very seriously while signing the terms. As a tenant, you have to understand the agreement. As a landlord, you should use proper language and words to explain the conditions and clauses easily and not try to confuse the tenant.
The things that are to ATS agreement include are:
- Complete details of the property including address, numbers of rooms.
- Length of the tenancy
- Deposit to be paid by the tenant
- Agreed weekly, monthly or yearly rental payments and dates
- Person who’s responsible for the water, gas, heating bills
- Responsibility of the tenant to keep the property in a healthy condition
- Damage, repairs and maintenance responsibility
- Signature of both landlord and the tenant
What AST agreement protects you with?
As outlined in the AST agreement, the landlord cannot evict you without proper grounds. This is against your will and can be used to sue the owner. However if the both parties decide to end the tenancy earlier than the designated date, it can be negotiated.
The landlord also cannot increase the rent as he wishes during the tenancy of the resident. Unless you agreed to a condition allowing a rent change, there is no legal ground for the landlord to confront you with high rents.
The agreement also outlines the deposit to be paid to the landlord at the start of the tenancy period. The landlord is responsible for depositing the money into a government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme and notify the tenant within the first month.
Other basic laws like indiscrimination against tenants also apply with AST agreement even though they are not outlined in the agreement. Residents are entitled to live peacefully in their home during the tenancy period without any confrontation, illegal eviction from the landlord.