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More about tenancy agreements
The tenancy agreement is a form of contract and as such it is a very important document. It is a contract between landlord and tenant giving certain rights, principally the tenant's right to occupy the property and the landlord's right to receive rent for letting it.
The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is now the most common form of short term tenancy agreement. This forms a contract and sets out the obligations of both tenant and landlord. Access Legal can provide a tenancy agreement template to ensure it complies with relevant gas, fire and electrical safety legislation and the landlord's and tenant's repairing obligations.
It's not unusual for the tenant to be given a Section 21 Notice at the outset of the tenancy along with the AST agreement, but the Notice will be valid only if served after any deposit has been lodged in a recognised scheme.
There is no minimum fixed term specified in an AST although the tenant has the right to remain in the property for at least six months. Where the tenancy is for a fixed term of more than three years it must be created by deed otherwise it will be void. An AST can continue as long as both parties are happy for it to do so.
If there is no written tenancy agreement then landlords cannot use the accelerated possession process. It is also more difficult to establish whether a term of the tenancy has been breached because there is no written record of exactly what the rights and responsibilities of the parties are.