All the documents you need to let under an AST
Each of these documents creates an assured shorthold tenancy. There is little difference in the basic terms. We provide variations simply to make it easier for you to take the exact version you want and use with minimal editing.
To make property management easier, each of our agreements includes another eleven commonly used notices, forms and letters, each with its own notes and the notices with draft completed text.
That makes the pack extremely convenient for a landlord or an agent and extremely good value.
With each assured shorthold tenancy agreement template, we include:
Form 6A: which replaces Section 21(1) or (4) notice to terminate a tenancy
a Section 8 notice for possession
a security deposit rent receipt
a form to record the details of the deposit protection scheme
a letter warning of late payment of rent
a letter claiming rent arrears
a letter to the Housing Benefit Department
a draft inventory (with explanatory notes on how to use)
a cold weather letter to remind tenants to ventilate and heat the property
a smoke and carbon monoxide detector release letter and form
Strong legal protection for landlords
Residential tenancy law favours the tenant rather than the landlord. The key to letting safely is to have a tenancy agreement that protects your rights as strongly as possible within the framework of landlord and tenant law.
Your tenancy agreement is jargon-free, written in plain English. It is easy for you and your tenant to understand.
Using plain English in no way reduces the legal effect. In many cases, it strengthens it since if your tenant understands, he or she will have no excuse not to comply.
We also include guidance notes that explain each paragraph.
Multiple use by the same landlord or letting agent
There is no restriction on your personal use of this document. You may standardise it and re-use for every house or flat you let. Just keep an eye open for a change in the law. When that happens come back to us for the latest version.
Is an assured shorthold agreement suitable?
The basic qualifying conditions for an AST are:
rent between £1,000 and £100,000 per year
letting period: at least 6 months to a maximum of 6 years
the tenant is a private individual and not a company
the property will be used for residential purposes only (not business or agriculture)
the tenant has exclusive occupation of the property
Just in case your arrangement fails to qualify, here are the details of other agreements you might use instead.
a common law tenancy: that is an agreement that fails to qualify in some way as an AST
a letting to a company: a company is not protected so you can easily obtain possession if the tenant or occupier is in breach.
a residential licence agreement, commonly known as a lodger agreement
a holiday property letting agreement
The law relating to these documents
The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 have changed residential tenancy law.
The documents in this pack comply with those regulations, the Housing Act 1988, the Housing Act 1996 and the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme introduced in April 2007 amended by these Regulations.
Setting up your tenancy agreement
Joint and several liability
Every tenancy agreement template we sell specifies that if there is more than one tenant, they are jointly liable. In particular, your tenants are jointly responsible for the total rent, even if they decide between themselves how to split payment of it. None can wriggle out by saying he or she has complied as far as his or her own share is concerned.
The advantage to the landlord of renting on a joint and several liability basis is that he or she can pursue any of the tenants for any unpaid rent. Effectively, the risk that one of the tenants might not pay the rent is transferred to the other tenants, not the landlord.
Over 35 tenant promises (covenants) and other options
No letting is quite the same - each situation requires different terms. In these tenancy agreements we give you a choice of over 35 tenant promises and restrictions so that you can customise your agreement exactly as you want. You can also choose to keep in or take out terms that you would expect to be in such a template but might not need (such as a provision for guarantor and provision to use a separate managing agent) and you are given a choice to select which of the tenant deposit protection scheme you will be using.
Tenancy deposit protection schemes
A landlord using an AST agreement is required by law to comply with the deposit protection scheme. (You can also use the scheme if you are renting a room to a lodger in your own house under a residential license agreement.)
To avoid arguments about what was in the property at the start, the parties should agree a detailed schedule of condition, listing every item of fixture, fitting and furniture and providing a note of its condition. Once you have agreed the inventory of the contents of your property, there is less room for dispute.
Letting a single room
Thousands of rooms are let every year under a simple residential licence to occupy, rather than an AST.
There are two reasons why you should not. In the first place, most of the obligations of a landlord also apply to a licensor. Secondly, single people are likely to be young and the personal circumstances of a young, single person are likely to be more flexible, fluid and uncertain than those of someone older. That means a student who finds himself with nowhere to go at the end of his term is more likely to claim that he has a tenancy and that, accordingly, the landlord cannot evict him. The moral for a landlord is: always use an AST.
We offer alternative agreements for letting a single room: one is explicitly for students and the other for anyone else.
The student version is constructed around the academic year, so that you ask for rent at a time when the student can pay. This is the best insurance against a student leaving before the final payment has been made and when you cannot re-let for a short period.
The student version also makes no provision for a deposit. To some students, an argument with a landlord about a deposit is a fair fight, leaving the landlord in a position where he has to choose between fighting back, probably over several months, or losing accreditation with university accommodation bureaux. What is more, the compulsory deposit system also tends to tie up the landlord’s money. If you take money up front and forget about a deposit, you know where you are.
The alternative single room version closely follows the model of the other versions.
Insist on a guarantor
There is no need for a separate guarantor agreement
The guarantor provides a promise to pay rent unpaid by one or more of the tenants and also for any loss or damage caused by the tenant. We include provisions for a guarantor within each document. You do not need a separate rent guarantee document.
In these agreements, we place the guarantor on the same basis as the tenants. So if the tenants are jointly and severally liable, the guarantor will be as well.