Being a landlord comes with many benefits.
You have the chance to buy, renovate and rent properties in an area you love, as well as learn more about the current and ever-changing sector.
But there are several legal factors you need to be aware of and regulations you must follow.
One of these is ASTs (assured shorthold tenancies).
Today we’ll talk you through the current specifications regarding tenancy agreements, as well as the changes that will be made later in the year.
If you let properties, you’re most likely already aware of the current legalities surrounding tenancy agreements.
However, if you’re new to the world of property (or need a refresh), here are the current ASTs:
- Although advised, it is not currently a legal requirement to have a written tenancy agreement
- Whether there is a fixed term or not, landlords can’t evict a tenant within the first 6 months of the agreement
- Neither landlords nor tenants can break the AST during the initial fixed term (usually 6 months)
- When the fixed term comes to an end, landlords can evict tenants without stating a reason with at least a 2 months notice period. Landlords can serve this at the end of month 4 (if the fixed term is 6 months) by serving a section 21 notice
- If tenants wish to leave, they can give one month’s notice (four weeks if rent is collected weekly) after the fixed term has ended.
This type of rental agreement has been in place in England and Wales since March 1997 – let’s see how things have changed in the past 25 years.
ASTs changes for 2022
Whilst England and Wales both have ASTs in place, there are now a number of differences between them – including the start date of the agreement
In Wales, changes to tenancy agreements have already been finalised and must be followed from 1st December 2022.
These are as follows:
- ASTs will be replaced by ‘occupation contracts’. Tenants will also become contract holders and more aware of their rights
- Written contracts will be mandatory. Landlords must provide this for each and every tenant.
- Occupation contracts operate with a fixed term of up to 7 years, or periodically (week to week or month to month).
- The notice period will be changed to 6 months. Landlords must give a minimum of 6 months’ notice when evicting a tenant – this cannot be issued within the first 6 months of the agreement.
- Contract holders can not give less than 4 weeks’ notice if the contract runs on a periodic basis.
Proposals for England
Changes to ASTs are still yet to be finalised in England, but proposals have been made to alter the current agreement regulations.
- All tenancies will be periodic – no fixed terms or specific end dates
- Notices under section 21 will no longer be necessary – landlords can only evict a tenant under reasonable circumstances
- Tenants will have more freedom in leaving the rented property – they only need to give 2 months’ notice, at any point during the tenancy.
As you can see, the alterations do differ from the ones being put into practice in Wales.
However, these are still just proposals and are likely to change.
While we are not currently aware of when the changes to current ASTs in England will be rolled out, we advise you to keep an eye out for any changes. This will ensure you’re staying in line with the rules and regulations of the landlord-ing world.
EasyLet Residential are here to help
We focus on putting landlords in touch with professional and friendly letting agents to assist them with collecting rent, organising viewings and even advertising properties online.
But that’s not all.
The team here at EasyLet Residential are here to answer your property questions and point you in the right direction through our regular blog posts.
Make sure to check back in for more information on all things rental properties.
If you have any further questions, we’re more than happy to help. Just give us a call today on 01925 633011 to chat with us directly.
You can also pop into our Warrington office to meet the team and talk about letting agents over a cuppa.