Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) are the most common form of residential tenancy agreements. The Deregulation Act 2015 requires landlords to comply with specific requirements when an AST is created on or after 1st October 2015. From 1st October 2018, the requirements of the Deregulation Act 2015 will apply to all ASTs, regardless of when they were created.
The landlord is required to provide the tenant with:
- A gas safety certificate (if relevant);
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC);
- An EPC rates how energy efficient a building is using grading “A” (the most efficient) to “G” (the least efficient). The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/962) (MEES Regulations 2015) was introduced to improve energy efficiency in both domestic and commercial private rented property in accordance with the Energy Act 2011. The MEES Regulations 2015 require landlords to ensure that their private rented properties reach the minimum energy efficiency requirements. From 1st April 2018, a landlord will not be able to grant a new tenancy if the property does not have an EPC rating of at least grade “E”. From 1st April 2020, a landlord will not be able to continue letting a property if it does not have an EPC rating of at least grade “E”.
- A copy of the current version of the MHCLG: How to Rent: The checklist for renting in England;
- The MHCLG checklist provides guidance to both landlords and tenants regarding their rights and responsibilities under the AST.
The landlord is also required to protect any deposit taken in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme.
To terminate an AST, the landlord is required to serve on the tenant a Section 21 Notice or a Section 8 Notice. If the tenant does not vacate the property at the end of the notice period, it will be necessary to apply to the court for an order for possession.
A Section 8 Notice allows the landlord to terminate the AST during the fixed term of the tenancy. To serve a Section 8 Notice, the landlord is required to demonstrate that a specific ‘ground’ under the Housing Act 1988 is satisfied. The length of notice required to be given to the tenant depends on the ‘ground’ relied upon.
Alternatively, a landlord can serve a Section 21 Notice on a tenant to terminate an AST. A Section 21 Notice can only be served at the end of the fixed term and at least two months’ notice must be provided to the tenant. A Section 21 Notice will not be valid unless the landlord has complied with its legal obligations pursuant to the Deregulation Act 2015.
If you require any assistance with preparing or terminating an AST, please contact us on 0161 832 3304 and ask to speak to a member of our Property Department.
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