Assured shorthold tenancy

Aldershot County Court
An assured shorthold tenancy provides two different notice procedures for an order for possession

The assured shorthold tenancy is the default legal category of residential tenancy in England and Wales. It is a form of assured tenancy with limited security of tenure, which was introduced by the Housing Act 1988[n 1] and saw an important default provision and a widening of its definition made by the Housing Act 1996.[n 2] By the widespread agreement of tenancies since 28 February 1997 in respect of accommodation to new tenants who are new to their landlords, the assured shorthold tenancy has become the most common form of arrangement that involves a private residential landlord.[1] The equivalent in Scotland is short assured tenancy.

Requirements to create an assured shorthold tenancy

The tenancy must meet the basic requirements of an assured tenancy (excluding the security of tenure effects) and the following:

1a. The tenancy started between 15 January 1989 and 27 January 1997 (inclusive) and was accompanied by a prescribed warning, was for a fixed term, and for at least six months; or

1b. The tenancy started at or after 28 February 1997

2. The tenancy is not excluded by a notice stating it is not a shorthold before or after the tenancy

3. The tenancy does not specify within it that it is not a shorthold

4. The tenancy is not a letting to an existing assured tenant of the landlord's whether of the same premises or not (and whether to that tenant alone or part of a group)[2][n 3]

Security of tenure

Main article: Section 21 notice
Main article: Section 8 Notice

The landlord has the right to terminate:

Comparison to assured tenancies

The only potential landlord's disadvantage of a shorthold is the right of the tenant to refer the rent initially payable to a Rent Assessment Committee; however, it can reduce the rent only if it is "significantly higher" than the rents under other comparable assured shortholds. In this unusual scenario in which the landlord has been able to agree a rent substantially higher than market comparables of the same accommodation, the landlord can serve a notice before or after the tenancy has begun stating it is not to be a shorthold, where no rent assessment application has been made.[7] In other regards, except security of tenure, as a subset of assured tenancies, ASTs follow the definition requirements of assured tenancies, e.g. which includes maximum and minimum rent levels to exclude the most unusual extremes.[8]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Commenced 15 January 1989
  2. Commenced 28 February 1997
  3. Anti-avoidance provision to prevent continuing secured tenants from losing their security of tenure
  1. Assured and Assured Shorthold Tenancies: A guide for tenants from HM Government DCLG
  2. Housing Act 1996 s.96 and more generally ss 96-102 (i.e. Chapter 2)
  3. Housing Act 1988, section 21, latest version including revisions from the Housing Act 1996
  4. "Deregulation Act 2015 Section 36".
  5. Commercial Property: Part III Residential Tenancies, p313 P. Butt, College of Law Publishing (Guildford), 2008 ISBN 978 1905391448
  6. Housing Act 1988 s.8
  7. Commercial Property: Part III Residential Tenancies, p309 and p311 P. Butt, College of Law Publishing (Guildford), 2008 ISBN 978 1905391448
  8. Commercial Property: Part III Residential Tenancies, p310 P. Butt, College of Law Publishing (Guildford), 2008 ISBN 978 1905391448
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