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The Contract


Assured shorthold tenancies

Assured short hold tenancies are usually for a term of 6 months to a year. They should give you the right to have your deposit protected and be served notice before eviction.


The Contract

Within an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) you should be able to find the rent rate, who is responsible for repairs at the property and how long a tenancy should last.
You are committed to paying the rent for the duration of your contract so please be sure you feel this is affordable before signing the contract.

Tenancy Deposit

If you have an assured short hold tenancy you have the right to have your deposit priotected within a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The deposit is an amount given by the tenant which acts as an insurance policy for the landlord, he can use this cover any unpaid rent or repair any damage caused by the tenant on departure.
It is a legal requirement for the landlord to protect your deposit in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme.
It is important that when you start your contract that you are happy with the condition of the property. Make sure you have a detailed inventory and that you and your landlord agree on the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy. Always take photos as well. This can be used to settle disputes at the end.

Rent increases

Your landlord cannot increase the rent during the term of the contract unless it stipulates this in the contract.

Repairs

Your landlord should be responsible for the repairs to the roof, walls, windows and doors and the wiring and plumbing. Make sure this is clear from the start of the contract.
If your property needs repairs your landlord has the right to access however must give you notice.
You also have a responsibility as a tenant for the general upkeep of the building, make sure you are clear if this includes the garden etc as well.
Always ask before carrying out any works to the property especially if it includes redecoration of any kind or drilling into walls etc.

Leaving or Staying on

When your tenancy comes to an end you may have a number of options
  1. Ask your landlord if you can renew, this may involve paying renewal fees and the landlord may also decide to increase the rent.
  2. You can end your contract but check if you need to give written notice etc and make sure you do this in the specified time.
  3. Ask if you can have a rolling contract where you contract rolls on from month to month with the same rent.
  4. You may be able to leave before the fixed term if your contract has a break clause
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS GUIDE IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. SHOULD YOU REQUIRE OFFICIAL ADVICE ON A SPECIFIC CONTRACT OR WISH TO SETTLE A LEGAL DISPUTE, PLEASE SEEK ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED EXPERT.
Please note - If you live in the same house as your landlord you do not have an assured shorthold tenancy. Lodgers have very different rights to a tenant living in a private residence.