Residential lettings are a minefield of information and legislation for you to get to grips with. We have our Advice Hub to refer to for all things lettings, an incredibly easy way to get in the know.
An initial stage of taking on a tenant will be to draw up a tenancy agreement that is signed by all parties involved, with terms, conditions, and responsibilities to be upheld by all who are contractually bound.
AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy)
The most common form of agreement is an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy), as the eligibility and requirements that need to be met fit the bill for the majority of tenancies within the UK.
For clarity, the following are factors that are to be met for an AST to be suitable:
- The property you rent is private
- Your tenancy started on or after 15 January 1989
- The property is your tenant’s main accommodation
- The landlord does not live in the property
The factors which contribute to not being able to use an AST are:
- If the tenancy began or was agreed upon before 15 January 1989
- The rent is more than £100,000 a year
- The rent is less than £250 a year (less than £1,000 in London)
- .If it’s a business tenancy or tenancy of licensed premises
- If the property is a holiday let
- If your landlord is a local council
Bearing this in mind, most properties in the Bedfordshire area will fall within the remit of being suitable to have an AST against it.
If you’re interested, there are other forms of tenancies that arent AST. They aren’t very common, and for good reason…
Excluded Tenancies Or Licences
If you choose to have someone live as a ‘lodger’ in your home, you’ll likely need an agreement such as an excluded tenancy or licence.
Most applicable if you share communal rooms with them, such as a bathroom, kitchen, utility room etc.
This agreement allows room for flexibility for both parties and gives greater rights for a landlord to have evictions served faster and simpler under this agreement.
Landlords must serve notice before they can evict a periodic occupier.
Fixed-term occupiers can only be evicted once the term has ended unless the agreement allows for it to be ended early through a break clause or forfeiture clause.
Periodic-term occupiers have the rights to be given the notice to vacate, ideally, you’ll specify this in the agreement that is signed by both parties. If there is no notice period mentioned, then it should be assumed the notice is the same as the rental period. For example, for a weekly tenancy, it would be a week’s notice.
Generally, tenants will have increased protection from eviction with this type of agreement.
Your tenant will likely have an assured tenancy if all of the following applies to them…
- They pay rent to a private landlord
- You do not live in the same building as your tenant.
- The tenant moved in between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997
- You did not give your tenant a notice saying that they have an assured shorthold tenancy when they moved in
Incredibly unlikely you’ll have a tenancy like this, however!
Tenancies starting before 15 January 1989 will likely be a regulated tenancy. Tenants will have increased protection from eviction.
Regulated tenants pay a fair rent which is lower than the current market rent.
A fair rent is set by a rent officer at the Valuation Office Agency. This is the maximum rent your landlord can charge you under the tenancy.
How We Can Help You!
Here at Abbey Property, we specialise in AST agreements, it’s the best compromise so that both landlord and tenants are equally obliged to have equal rights with the property.
It offers the best levels of protection and is the most straightforward to understand and complete.
Whether you need a property managed, or just want a tenancy agreement sign-up service completed, we are here to help.
Feel free to reach out to one of our property experts, for streamlined, easy guidance.