Assured Shorthold Tenancies – a brief guide for Landlords
If you are already a residential landlord, or if you are considering letting out a property here is a brief overview of the points you need to be aware of when setting up a new tenancy.
In the first place, if you already have an existing tenancy agreement in place this may have been running for some time and it would be wise to update this with a more recent version as standard provisions can change over time. If you are a new landlord, or setting up a new tenancy, you may do this yourself, but in order to protect your rights and ensure the rights and obligations of your tenants it is recommended that you seek legal advice.
The principal provisions of the agreement should set out the parties, the extent of the property to be occupied, the date the tenancy starts, its term, how much rent to be paid and when and details of the deposit. There should also be indications of the landlord and tenants’ rights and obligations in relation to use, care, insurance and access to the property as well as a clause covering how the agreement can be terminated.
The specific details of such matters will depend on every individual case, but essentially these are provisions that ought to be present.
If a deposit is being taken then it must be protected in a recognised Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the relevant information passed on to the tenant. The value of the deposit is limited by the requirements of the Tenant Fees Act 2019, for more information on this please seek formal legal advice. A failure to comply with the requirement to adequately protect the deposit, or a breach of the Tenant Fees Act can have significant consequences so it is essential that you have a full understanding of your obligations in this regard.
EPC / Gas Safety Certificates
Tenants must be provided with up to date EPC and Gas Safety certificates at the beginning of a new tenancy, if the property uses gas appliances and if it is not exempt from EPC requirements. A failure to comply can cause issues later on if the landlord wishes to serve notice on the tenant to terminate the tenancy. If the tenancy is a renewal and recent gas or EPC certificates have been obtained since the beginning of the original tenancy these should also be served on the continuing tenant.
Right to Rent
You must establish that your prospective tenants have the right to reside in the UK. A passport check should suffice, but again, legal advice is advisable to ensure you comply with all requirements.
How to Rent Checklist
This is a document provided by the government, downloadable from the internet which is required to be served on the Tenant at the start of the tenancy. It provides the tenant with information about their rights and obligations as a tenant.
This is a general overview of requirements for setting up an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This does not constitute legal advice and if you are considering letting out a property please get in touch with us and we can guide you through the process and advise on your specific circumstances.
Contact Harriet Rossi – [email protected]