Category Archives: Introduction


Assured Shorthold Tenancy

What exactly is meant by Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

This refers to a form of tenancy, which involves a type of arrangement between a private residential landowner and his tenant who rents his property.

It’s worth mentioning that all the tenancies created on January 15, 1989 and after that, are automatically considered as Assured Shorthold Tenancies, provided no special notice is given to indicate otherwise. This means that even if there is no written agreement or oral contract between a tenant and landowner, the tenancy will be considered as Assured Shorthold Tenancy. As a result; both tenants and landlords are completely protected and secured by Housing Act 1996 and Housing Act 1988.

Requirements for obtain an Assured Shorthold Tenancy

There are actually many factors that are used to determine if a tenant or a landowner are eligible for Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If the agreement fulfils all the following criteria then it will certainly act as Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

  • If the annual rent of a tenant is less than £25,000.
  • Any tenant shifted to a new property on Feb 28, 1997 or after that.
  • If a tenant uses the services of a private landlord to rent a property
  • If a tenant has certain rights in the property for privacy, and landlord cannot make an entry into the property without going through a mutual agreement

A tenancy will NOT be considered an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under following conditions:

There are actually several factors that are used to determine if a tenant or a landowner are NOT eligible for Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If the agreement fulfils all the following criteria then the tenancy will not considered as Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

  • If the annual rent of a property is more than £50,000
  • If the rent of a property is very low, or property receives no rent at all.
  • If a property acts as a holiday home
  • If a property is rented out to a private limited company
  • If the government or crown owns the property
  • If a property is rented out with the agriculture land that is more than 2 acres, or the property comes under agricultural tenancy.

Housing Act 1988

The Housing Act 1988 essentially concerned itself with Private Rented Sector, and used to cover many of the UK legislation laws for this Sector.

The government has prepared these laws, by spending more than 250 hours, to make private renting sector much more efficient and fairer to the landlords. All the laws that got passed come under The Housing Act 1988 cover all the legal responsibilities and statutory rights for both tenants and landlords.

It’s quite common to see the conflicts between various clauses mentioned in the Tenancy Agreement and the statutory rights mentioned in the Housing Act. The main reason for this is that many notorious and novice landlords make several drastic modifications in these agreements without considering the statutory rights at all. If this type of case arises, the tenancy agreement is considered invalid, as the ruling law is the Housing act, and it cannot be overruled.

The Official Housing Act 1988 can be accessed online.

Since the time the Housing Act 1988 was introduced, many drastic revisions have been made to it; prominent revisions were added to the Housing Act 1996.

Housing Act 1996

The Housing Act 1996 consists of several revisions that were made to the Housing Act 1988.

Some drastic changes were introduced with the Housing Act 1996 that were applicable with effect from February 28, 1997.

You can access Official Housing Act 1996 online.

Tenancy Agreement Terms and Definitions

Assured Tenancy – This tenancy gives the right to tenants to remain in the rented property until the landlord approaches the court, and gives a valid reason to evict the tenants, for instance, damage to property etc.

Assured short-hold tenancy – This is essentially the most common type of tenancy in the UK. This is quite similar to an Assured tenancy, but the only exception is that it lasts for a fixed period of more than six months. This type of tenancy is very popular as it allows landlords a facility to easily give any notice to end any agreement.

Buy to Let (BTL) – This is more of an investment strategy, whereby individuals buy a residential property or home to let it for gaining profits.

Buy to share (BTS) – This is a practice whereby individuals buy a property or home with the purpose of renting out some portion of the property to financially help them in paying the mortgage.

Deposit – Deposit is a fixed amount of money generally taken by letting agents or landlords at the beginning of a tenancy period in order to cover future losses or expenses on the part of tenants, for instance, damage and rent arrears.

DSS: Claiming state benefit from housing benefit.

Guarantor – Individuals who provide the landowner a sort of warranty about the tenant.

House in Multiple Occupations (HMO) – These are the forms of accommodations that are shared by many people.

Inventory – A complete list of all the items present in the property, including their usage conditions.

Landlord – Refers to the individual who owns the property, or the one whom you pay your rent. This may also refer to the property free holder that provides you tenure for leasehold.

Live-in landlord – A property holder who lives in a property but rent out a portion of this property to tenants.

Live-out landlord – A type of landlord that doesn’t live in a property, which he rents out to his tenants.

Lodger – A type of tenant who rents a room in somebody else home, normally in a Live in landlord’s home.

Per Calendar Month (PCM) – This term used in relation to the time when to pay your monthly rents.

Sublet – This is an agreement whereby the existing tenant rents out a portion of the property to another.

Rent – Total amount of money charged monthly by a landowner to rent out his property

Tenancy – An act of occupancy when you officially become a tenant.

Tenancy Agreement: A type of Legal agreement between the tenant and landlord. This can be both verbal and written.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme – A scheme introduced by government in 2007 in order to safeguard the deposits given by tenants to the landlords.

Tenant – A tenant is someone who uses someone’s building to live, and pays a fixed monthly rent for doing so.