Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement

Get your legal document now in PDF and Word formats. Receive clear instructions and have peace of mind with our solicitor-approved and up-to-date documents. Download immediately with a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.

Create a legally binding tenancy contract for any property type – house, flat, or basement, with our Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement.

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement is the usual tenancy agreement utilized for most residential lettings in England. It specifies the terms and conditions of the tenancy, including the rent amount, tenancy duration, and obligations of both parties.

Create a tenancy agreement for your rented real estate. Download and print instantly with a 100% quality guarantee.

At Tenancy Agreement, we aim to assist landlords and managing agents with the legal aspects of tenancy agreements. We provide the latest and legally compliant documents and forms at affordable prices, enabling our customers to save time and money while taking control of their tenancies.

We aim to provide reliable and user-friendly resources and assistance to make managing a tenancy agreement easier. We are committed to ensuring that our customers have peace of mind and fully comply with their legal obligations.

We have dedicated entire sections of this website to some of the most frequently asked questions about managing a tenancy agreement. Still, we also wanted to provide helpful summaries of the critical areas on the home page, complete with links to the relevant sections.

What is a Tenancy Agreement?

A Tenancy Agreement is a contract that legally binds the landlord and tenant. It outlines the terms and conditions of the tenancy and sets out the rights and obligations of both parties. The agreement is governed by the Housing Act 1988 and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

The agreement will specify the duration of the tenancy, the due date for rent payment, the exact amount of rent due, the method of deposit handling, and the permissible and prohibited actions during the tenancy period. It also outlines the responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord for repairing and maintaining the property and the procedures for ending the tenancy.

The Tenancy Agreement is a vital document that clearly defines the rights and obligations of both parties involved. You must carefully read and understand the agreement before signing it. If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to raise them. Remember that this agreement is a legal document, and both parties must follow all its terms and conditions throughout the tenancy period.

What expressed terms does an assured shorthold tenancy agreement include?

We recommend landlords always provide tenants with a Tenancy Agreement to clarify the landlord /tenant relationship from day one. 

If there is more than one tenant, each tenant should receive a copy of the agreement, and all parties should sign it.

About Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreements

This agreement outlines tenants’ rights and responsibilities and clarifies their tenancy terms and conditions.

For an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) agreement to be legally binding, it must be in writing and contain specific information. The agreement should clearly state the names and contact details of both the landlord and the tenant and the property’s address. Additionally, it is essential to specify the rent amount, the payment frequency, and the payment method. The length of the tenancy, starting date, and notice period should also be clearly stated in the agreement.

The tenant’s responsibilities for paying utilities, council tax, and any repairs or damages caused by them should be explained in the agreement. The landlord’s right to enter the property and any restrictions on the tenant’s use should also be outlined. Furthermore, any deposits made by the tenant should be detailed, including information on how they will be protected and any potential deductions. This is by the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) regulations.

Last but not least, the agreement should contain information regarding the rights and responsibilities of both parties under the Housing Act 1988 and the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

It is essential for both parties to thoroughly read and comprehend the agreement before signing it to ensure that they fully understand their respective rights and responsibilities. We offer landlords and their representatives comprehensive and legally up-to-date online tenancy agreements suitable for all types of properties, whether furnished or unfurnished, with or without pets.

An Assured Shorthold tenancy is a type of rental agreement. Is it the appropriate agreement for you?

All tenancies that started on or after February 28th, 1997, are now automatically considered Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy can only be used if the required steps were followed to set up an Assured Tenancy. However, certain circumstances may allow an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to be used.

  • the property is to be let to a company,
  • the property is to be allowed as a holiday home,
  • the rent exceeds £100,000 per annum.

How long is a tenancy agreement for?

In the UK, the length of a tenancy agreement can vary depending on the signed agreement type. The most common form of tenancy agreement is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), a legal agreement between a landlord and tenant governed by the Housing Act 1988. Typically, this agreement lasts for a fixed period of either 6 or 12 months, but it can be for any term the landlord and tenant agree upon. 

As of 2020, the most extended fixed-term tenancy a landlord can offer is five years as long as it is created through a written agreement. If a tenant remains on the property beyond the end of the fixed-term tenancy, the agreement automatically continues as a statutory periodic tenancy. In this situation, the tenancy period will either be monthly or quarterly, depending on the terms of the original agreement.

What is the legal requirement regarding tenancy deposits when beginning a tenancy in the United Kingdom?

What is a tenancy deposit scheme?

The Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme ensures that tenants can safely pay a tenancy deposit that will be secure and refunded to them. By law, all deposits for assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of the deposit being paid. Failure to save a deposit may lead landlords or letting agents to pay the tenant a penalty of up to three times the deposit amount.

England and Wales have three approved deposit protection schemes: the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), deposits, and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). All three schemes offer insurance-based protection and a free dispute resolution service. Please visit the UK government’s website for more information on tenancy deposits or the Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme.

What is a Section 21 notice, and when is it used?

As a landlord, one of the most common questions is Section 21 notices. It is a legal document in the United Kingdom used when a landlord wants to terminate an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement. The tenant must be served with an official notice informing them that the landlord wishes to end the tenancy. The notice must be in the prescribed form and contain specific information per the Housing Act 1988.

It is important to note that the notice can only be served during the fixed term of the tenancy or after the fixed term has expired. It cannot be served within the first four months of the tenancy, and the tenant must be given at least two months’ notice.

A Section 21 notice is typically used when the landlord wants to regain possession of the property, sell it, or let it to someone else. Under certain circumstances, it can also be used to evict tenants in rent arrears. The government provides a helpful guide on section 21 notices, which you can access here.

What happens if a tenant breaches the tenancy agreement (Section 8)?

If a tenant breaks any tenancy agreement terms, the landlord can use Section 8 to take legal action. This may involve obtaining an eviction order through the court.

Some common violations of the agreement include not paying rent, damaging the property, or breaking other terms. If the breach is severe or repeated, it is a valid reason for eviction.

In such a case, the landlord must follow the correct legal process to evict the tenant. This may include giving a written Section 8 Notice, applying for an eviction order and having a bailiff remove the tenant.

The grounds for eviction are specified in the Housing Act 1988. Here is a comprehensive guide on obtaining a court order using Section 8 of this Act.

How do I end a tenancy agreement early?

Ending a tenancy agreement early in the UK is possible. However, it is essential to understand the legal obligations of both tenants and landlords. According to the UK government, if a fixed-term tenancy includes a break clause in the agreement, the tenant or landlord can end the tenancy early by giving ‘notice’.

The amount of notice required and when it needs to be given will depend on the terms of your tenancy agreement. 

If there is no break clause in the tenancy agreement, or if it does not allow the tenancy to end early, then the tenant is required to stay until the end of the fixed term. During this period, the tenant must make the necessary payments until the end of the fixed term and then will be able to move out.

If the tenant wants to leave before the fixed term ends, they can request the landlord to end the tenancy earlier than the agreed-upon date. However, the landlord may agree to this request only if they can find a new tenant quickly, but they are not obliged to do so.

If the landlord agrees to end the tenancy early, both parties must sign a formal agreement stating the termination conditions and the date the tenant must move out.

It is advisable to seek professional advice if you need clarification on your rights, as this will help ensure that everything is done in compliance with the law.

About our Tenancy Agreements

You will find free help and guidance on this website and downloadable tenancy agreements for easy use.

Our tenancy agreements (and all our documents) aim to provide simplicity, trustworthiness, and user-friendliness. We ensure that they are up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations. You can easily edit them in Word by adding or deleting whatever you like, but you should seek advice if you need clarification. We offer unlimited use for a one-time payment with no subscription fees.

Download your Tenancy Agreement Now



Copyright © 2023 Tenancy Agreement UK part of the Group – all rights reserved.