The Asssured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement

Tenancy Agreements:

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy, also referred to as an AST Agreement, is a contract between the Landlord and the Tenant containing the terms and conditions of their rental agreement.

There are various types of tenancy agreements over and above the AST Agreement, such as the Assured Tenancy Agreement and the Regulated or Protected Tenancy Agreement. However the AST Agreement is the most commonly used tenancy agreement in England and Wales.

For more information on the different types of tenancies, see Residential Tenancy Law.

Although a tenancy agreement may be a verbal agreement between the Landlord and the Tenant, it is best to record the terms of this agreement in writing. Otherwise, should a dispute arise in cases where only a verbal agreement is in place, it will be difficult to prove what the actual terms of the agreement are and can therefore be highly risky.

Agreement Content Details:

An AST Agreement should contain the following details:
  • Date:
    This is the date on which the agreement was made.
  • Landlord:
    The name and address details of the Landlord. Where there is more than one Landlord, each Landlord should be included.
  • Tenant:
    The name and address details of the Tenant. Where there is more than one Tenant, each Tenant should be included.
  • Property:
    The address details of the property being rented.
  • Term:
    The start and end date of the tenancy, including any break clauses, etc.
  • Rent:
    This should include the amount of rent to be paid, the method and the date of payment.
  • Deposit:
    This should include the amount of the deposit to be paid (if applicable), what the deposit will cover and when it must be paid.
  • Landlord's Obligations:
    This should include the responsibilities of the Landlord. For more information on this, see Landlord Obligations.
  • Tenant's Obligations:
    This should include the responsibilities of the Tenant. For more information on this, see Tenant Obligations.
  • Other Special Provisions:
    This should include any other special provisions agreed upon between the parties, such as pets, smoking, sub-letting, etc.
  • Signatures:
    Both the Landlord(s) and the Tenant(s) need to sign the Agreement. This is usually done with an original and counterpart. The Landlord signs one copy whilst the Tenant signs another copy. Both copies are then used.
  • Witnesses:
    It is not legally necessary to have witnesses signing the Agreement. However, it is useful in cases where the signatures are disputed by either of the parties.
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