What is Assured Tenancy – The facts in plain English

These days virtually all tenancies given are an assured tenancy in some way.

Under the 1988 Housing Act this sort of tenancy gives the landlord the right to take back possession of the property if the tenant is in arrears of more than two months.

There were important changes which where made by the housing Act 1996 which took effect from 28th February 1997.

AST’s are the most common tenancy granted at the moment and the one that you, as a landlord, should be using for your tenants. It is based on the general assured tenancy but you give the tenancy a fixed period – in practise, this is normally six months.

This gives you, as the landlord, the right to take back possession of the property at the end of the fixed period, if you so wish.

An assured or shorthold tenancy is the usual form of letting if:

  • You are a private Landlord and your tenant is a private tenant
  • The tenancy began on or after 15th January 1989
  • The house or flat is let as separate accommodation and is the tenant’s main home

A tenancy would not normally be classed as assured if any of the following are applicable.

  • The tenancy began before 15 January 1989
  • It is a business or holiday let
  • No rent or a very low or very high rent is charged
  • You are a “resident landlord.”

These assured and assured shorthold tenancies where brought in to encourage lettings by allowing landlords to be able to charge rent at full market rent value. They where also brought in to help landlords to have a right to get their property back after a given period of time.

This is much improved from previous legislation which would sometimes have landlords taking months or even years trying to evict tenants.

All new tenancies since 28 February 1997 are automatically Assured Shortholds, unless the agreement has specified an Assured Tenancy.

If you are letting and managing your property yourself, you can obtain AST agreements from a number of sources.

If you are a member of a landlord association such as the Residential Landlords Association www.rla.org.uk or the National Landlords Association www.landlords.org.uk you should be able to get them from them. Or alternatively, for a fee you can get it from sources such as www.oyezformslink.co.uk or www.lawpack.co.uk or You can even create your own, but this is not advisable for a beginner, because it can be very costly if it is not done correctly and you omit information that leaves you open to abuse from tenants.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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