We’ve partnered with elXtr, the digital legal solutions brand owned by LHS Solicitors, to bring you a free assured shorthold tenancy agreement template - something every landlord should consider having in place.
Why use an elXtr template?
elXtr is a digital legal platform that was designed specifically with entrepreneurs in mind. It takes the particular legal hoops you need to jump through into account and provides solutions that meet your particular needs. That’s why we’re so excited to partner with them, and bring you quality legal documentation.
What is an assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and their tenants which sets out the legal terms and conditions of the tenancy.
Most tenancy agreements will automatically be assured shorthold tenancy agreements.They will likely be this type of tenancy agreement if:
- You are a private landlord or housing association
- The tenancy began on or after 15 January 1989
- The property is your tenants’ main residence
- You don’t live in the property
A tenancy can’t be an assured shorthold tenancy agreement if:
- It started before 15 January 1989
- The rent is in excess of £100,000 a year
- The rent is lower than £250 a year (lower than £1,000 if the property is in London)
- You’re renting a business premises
- It’s a holiday let
- The landlord is a local council
Why do I need an assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
Even if you don’t have a written contract with your tenant, a tenancy agreement will still be in place. Under s54(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925, a tenancy will exist as soon as a tenant starts paying rent.
However, having a written tenancy agreement allows you to make certain stipulations, such as how and when you will review rent or the circumstances under which you may withhold all or part of your tenant’s deposit.
Without a written agreement you won’t even be able to prove how much rent the tenant owes you, so may find yourself caught out.
If you don’t have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement that you currently use for your properties, you can download the template provided by elXtr.
What to include in an assured shorthold tenancy agreement
There are a number of things that you can include in an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Our template covers:
- The names of everyone involved in the agreement
- How much the rent will be
- How often the rent will be paid
- How much the deposit will be
- Reasons you may withhold all or part of the deposit
- The address of the property
- The start date and length of the tenancy
- The tenants’ responsibilities, such as paying council tax and maintaining the property
- Your obligations, such as repairs to the property
There are other covenants and obligations you may want to consider including, such as:
- How and when you will review rent
- Whether the property can be sublet
- Whether the tenancy can be ended early and how this can be done
If you want to add to or remove parts of the tenancy agreement, you should do this in conjunction with your legal counsel.
Ensuring your assured shorthold tenancy agreement complies with the law
If you are considering making amendments to the assured shorthold tenancy agreement, you need to make sure that those changes comply with the law.
It’s illegal to discriminate against potential tenants on the grounds of:
- Sexual orientation
- Being transgender
- Having a disability, or anything connected with their disability
- Being pregnant or having a baby
If you have any concerns about what you can or can’t include in your assured shorthold tenancy agreement then consult your legal counsel.
But before you worry too much about what you do or do not want to include, take a look at our assured shorthold tenancy agreement example provided by elXtr, which you can download for free.
Assured shorthold tenancy agreement - free Word document for download
If you would like to make changes and don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can also download our assured shorthold tenancy agreement sample in Word format.
This document has been produced by LHS so we can’t take responsibility for its contents. We’d recommend you take professional advice before making any important decisions based on its contents.