Assured Shorthold Tenancies - Getting Them Right

There are many ‘off the shelf’ AST’s around, but many do not cover everything that you need. Be sure to seek legal advice from a suitably qualified body or legal firm.  Here are a few other things that are either legal requirements or just good practice:

  • Take a deposit in the event of property damage or rent arrears.  Protect it within 30 days using one of the Government-backed deposit schemes. Provide the tenant with the deposit certificate.
  • Provide to the tenant (in England):
    • A valid gas safety certificate – tenant signed receipt required
    • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – tenant signed receipt required
    • Government’s “How to Rent” guide – some form of receipt e.g. email.
    • Issue GDPR privacy notice
    • Electrical safety report – for some Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) it is a legal requirement, but good practice to provide one in all cases 
  • Check local licensing requirements particularly in respect of HMO’s.  Also, remember to carry out Right to Rent checks.
  • Create a comprehensive inventory.  With smart phones, it is now quite easy to take photos and videos that form part of the inventory at the start of an AST. Ensure that you go through it with the tenant and gain a signed acknowledgement.

Des Pearson
Manager - Personal Tax and Property Sector Specialist