Shorthold Tenancy Agreements

Key Fact

Following new rules introduced in April 2007, the deposit for all new Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements must be placed within a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme.
The landlord must provide details of the chosen deposit scheme to the tenant within 14 days of receipt of the deposit.

Government-authorised tenancy deposit schemes do not apply to Common Law Tenancies.


Key Fact

As long as there are no conflicts with the law, a tenant and a landlord can make any type of arrangements regarding the tenancy and all these arrangements will be regarded as a part of the tenancy.

Key Fact

Tenancy agreements are partly contractual, i.e. an agreement between landlord and tenant which can be enforced by a court of law. And, particularly with residential tenancies (as opposed to commercial or business tenancies), they are partly governed by statutory (Parliamentary) rules which cannot be over-ridden by the contractual common law rules.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy is used where the landlord does not live at the property. The tenancy agreement can be used for a single tenant who occupies the property on their own, or a group of tenants who jointly occupy the property and share responsibility. If you want to let an unfurnished house or flat situated in England or Wales an assured shorthold tenancy agreement is what you require.

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy can be for any length of time. The landlord may agree a fixed term of less than six months if the tenant agrees. However, the tenant has a right to stay in the property for a minimum period of six months. This means that even if a fixed term of less than six months is agreed, the landlord does not have a guaranteed right to possession if the tenant refuses to leave during the first six months of the tenancy.

The tenancy agreement sets out the obligations of the landlord and the tenant(s).

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement will cover:

Contractual Tenancy Agreement - Common Law Tenancy Agreement

A Contractual Tenancy Agreement may be used in any of the following tenancy situations where an assured shorthold tenancy should not be used:

The issues covered in a contractual tenancy agreement cover the same areas as for an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, covering the responsibilities and obligations of both landlord and tenant.