An assured shorthold tenancy (AST) is a type of tenancy allowing the Landlord to let the premises while reserving the right to repossess the premises at the end of the contractual term.
Landlords should consider a number of points prior to granting an AST.
A Landlord should give notice in writing that it may wish to repossess the premises under grounds 1 to 5 of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. Such notice must be given before the tenancy is entered into if such grounds are to be relied upon.
Further, the Landlord will need to make arrangements for any deposit to be paid into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Prescribed information in respect of the scheme must be provided to the Tenant within 30 days of receipt of the deposit.
It will be necessary to provide the Tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate free of charge and with a suitable gas safety certificate. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms must also be installed at the premises.
The Landlord must provide the Tenant with further Prescribed Information contained in the booklet DCLG: How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England.
It will also be necessary to determine the Tenant’s immigration status prior to granting the AST.
The above is not an exhaustive list and legal advice should be sought at an early stage. A failure to comply with the relevant requirements can lead to civil and in some cases criminal sanctions for the Landlord, and may preclude Landlord from serving notice to seek possession of the premises.