Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement – Unfurnished Bedsit (Rent Inclusive of Outgoings)
This Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement – Unfurnished Bedsit (Rent Inclusive of Outgoings) should be used where a Landlord wishes to grant a tenancy of an unfurnished bedsit. Usually the tenancy will have a term of 6 or 12 months.
A bedsit is typically a self-contained unit comprising a living area and a sleeping area. The bedsit may include a small kitchen or kitchenette and/or bathroom facilities. Alternatively, kitchen and/or bathroom facilities may be shared with other occupiers of the house in which the bedsit is situated.
This Agreement provides for the rent to be inclusive of Council Tax, utilities charges and cleaning of the communal areas. The Landlord covenants to pay these costs so the Landlord should ensure that the rent is sufficient to cover his expenditure.
If telephone and broadband are supplied direct to the bedsit, the Tenant must pay for them. If the Landlord provides communal telephone and broadband, the Tenant must contribute a fair proportion of the cost in addition to the rent.
If the tenant is to pay for outgoings in addition to the rent, please use the AST Unfurnished Bedsit (Excl).
The Tenancy Agreement complies with the Housing Act 1988 (as amended) and the Tenancy Deposit legislation and takes account of the OFT’s 2005 Guidance on unfair terms in tenancy agreements.
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is the usual form of tenancy granted by private landlords. Unlike other forms of residential tenancy, a tenant under an AST has virtually no security of tenure. As long as the proper procedures are followed, a Landlord can regain possession of the property after six months.
Although the majority of private lettings are ASTs, there are some residential tenancies that cannot be assured shortholds. The main exclusions are lettings to companies or other non-natural persons (the tenant under an AST must be one or more individuals), high value properties (where the annual rent exceeds £100,000), lettings where the tenant does not occupy the property as his only or principal home (e.g. a second home) and resident landlords. Lettings such as these are contractual tenancies – see the Contractual Tenancy Agreement.
If the Landlord requires a guarantor for the Tenant, e.g. because the Tenant does not have a satisfactory credit history or references, the Tenancy Agreement Guarantee should be used in addition.
The Tenancy Agreement sets out the main details at the beginning, being the parties’ names, the address of the property, the term and the monthly rent.Clause 1 is the grant of the tenancy. The Tenant is given rights to use such communal parts of the house as the Landlord may specify.
Clause 2 contains standard legal interpretation clauses.
Clause 3 deals with the Tenancy Deposit. The amount of the Deposit should be inserted in clause 3.1. In clause 3.4 the Landlord must specify whether the Deposit will be protected in an insurance scheme or a custodial scheme. Please see the Guidance on Tenancy Deposit Protection for Assured Shorthold Tenancies for details of the different schemes and the procedural steps the Landlord must take. Please note that this clause should not be used if the Landlord is protecting the Deposit in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (one of the insurance schemes). That scheme has its own clause which should be substituted – please see the Prescribed Information and Clauses document on the TDS website: http://www.tds.gb.com/agents-and-landlords-documents-and-forms.html.
Clause 4 contains the Tenant’s covenants. These cover payment of rent and telephone/broadband charges, repair and maintenance, use, allowing the Landlord access for inspections and end-of-tenancy arrangements. Clause 4 includes covenants requiring the Tenant to observe the terms of the Landlord’s insurance policy and any title documents such as a superior lease. These covenants will only have effect if the Landlord has given the Tenant copies of the relevant documents.
Clause 5 provides for interest to be paid on overdue rent.
Clause 6 is the forfeiture clause. This allows the Landlord to forfeit (i.e. bring to an end) the tenancy if the rent is at least 21 days overdue or if there has been a substantial breach of any of the Tenant’s obligations. Landlords should note that it will still be necessary to go to court in order to obtain possession of the property; the forfeiture clause does not have quite the effect it purports to have but it is important to have the clause in the Tenancy Agreement, otherwise the court will be unable to order possession during the fixed term of the tenancy.
Clause 7 contains the Landlord’s covenants. These cover quiet enjoyment (the right of the Tenant to use the property without interference), payment of Council Tax and other expenses (as mentioned above) and repair.
Clause 8 is an optional break clause for each party. Landlords should note that, as well as serving a notice to exercise the break, they must also serve a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. The break notice will only bring the fixed term of the tenancy to an end. A section 21 notice is needed in respect of the periodic tenancy which will automatically arise once the fixed term has ended.
Clause 9 will contain the parties’ addresses for service of documents. Section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 provides that rent is not lawfully due from a Tenant unless the Landlord has provided him with an address where notices are served. It is vital that the Tenant is given an up to date address for the Landlord.
Clause 10 is a jurisdiction clause.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.
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