Short Assured Tenancy Agreement Explained
You will have a landlord and be holding an agreement called a Short Assured Tenancy Agreement active in Scotland and Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement active elsewhere in the United Kingdom. These are agreements that set out the terms and condition of the tenancy. It is a legally binding documents that sets our both the landlord's and the tenant's responsibilities.
This Short Assured Tenancy agreement must run for a minimum term of 6 months in full and is extendable after. The maximum period of time this agreement can last for is 5 years before it becomes void. But by then if you desire to remain in the property, arrangements can be made with your landlord to sign up a new Short Assured Tenancy agreement with new dates on the agreement. The tenancy agreement is for letting furnished or unfurnished residential accommodation within the provisions of the housing Act 1988, as mentioned by Part III of the Housing Act 1996.
Some of the clauses included in the Short Assured Tenancy Agreement are:
» The amount of rent and deposit payable and the term of the tenancy.
The rent will be discussed with you prior to signing the agreement will be mutually agreed. The landlord will in good faith expect you to pay your rent on time and monthly by whatever method that suits you for example you can pay by cheque or direct debit. Cash is less common but if you insist this can be arranged too.
» Landlord's obligation to insure the property and keep wind and water-tight.
The landlord will insure the building of your accommodation at a re-instatement cost.
» Right of landlord to charge interest on late rent payments.
As mentioned earlier, the landlord will have his own overheads and outgoing every month and will have to maintain them in a timely fashion. So you will be expected to pay the rent for the property on time every month too. If you fail to do so, bank charges etc might incur and interest might be charged on you.
» Tenant's obligation to pay bills and council tax.
You will be responsible to pay your use of gas, electricity and council tax just as it is being your home.
» Tenant's obligation to keep the property and any garden in good order and repair.
The property is to be kept in a good and respectable condition with care and maintenance as you would to your own property.
» To use the property for residential purposes only.
This basically outline the property is not to be use as a commercial unit in any shape or form as it is only purpose is for residential use.
» Not to cause nuisance or annoyance to others.
You are bound by tenancy law not to cause nuisance or annoyance to other co-owners or occupiers in the building or area.
» Not to keep pets without written permission.
Typically pets are not encouraged in a rented property as most case end up in expensive clean up jobs for the landlord. However, it is not if the landlord agrees, you will be able to keep pets but only with his written consent.
» Not to leave property unattended for more than 21 days without informing landlord.
If you leave for a long period of time you will have to inform the landlord to prevent anti-social behaviour and vandalism etc. The landlord will then monitor the property more closely to keep the property safe.
The Short Assured Tenancy agreement will have to be signed with the presence of a witness. Once it is signed it will be active and remain until you terminate it with notice. You will be handed a set of keys for the property once you have signed the tenancy agreement and paid the rent & deposit in advance.
Rent & Deposit
If you are renting it privately you will be expected to pay at least one full month's rent in advance and typically a deposit around 1 ½ times your rental value as well prior obtaining the keys to the property. Rent are normally paid in advance unless it is under DSS (Department of Social Security) arrangements in which case it is mostly paid in arrears. Your landlord will naturally expect you to pay on time and consistently as he will have to keep cash flow in order to keep the property available. When rent is not paid or late, the landlord can take action to address the problem. This can eventually terminate the tenancy agreement and put you in trouble. In most cases as long as the rent is paid the property is secured for you with out any interference at all.
Under the DSS arrangements it works slightly different. You will still pay rent monthly but only in arrears and the set up of it initially takes longer to deal with as there are typically lots more paperwork involved. It is important you inform your QSP (Quick Sale Properties) regional manager who is dealing with buying your house this when you sell your property if you are going to the sell and rent it back quick option. QSP will go through all this with you regarding selling and renting back. But be aware, once you've sold your property quickly to QSP, you might not be eligible for benefit anymore if you have equity cash released. As most council will see you being able to live of the cash release from the equity of your property. If you are unsure speak to the QSP manager who is dealing with you or ask your benefit officer for clarification.
In a private let the deposit is typically 1 ½ times the value of the rent. The deposit is to be paid prior to entry to the property. It serves as a security for the landlord to compensate for any damages in the property. At the end of the tenancy, there will be an exit inspection to determine any deduction is due for damages.
The landlord must also inform the prospective tenant(s) that the tenancy offered is a Short Assured Tenancy agreement under section 32 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 prior to signing the actual agreement. During this time you have the opportunity to look into what you are about to sign up for and seek advice if you feel needed.
Inventory is a document that is important and effective. It basically records the items that are in the property when you have taken it out and also records the condition it is in and the date when it was recorded. Other details the Inventory includes are your name & address, the landlord's name & address, date of entry, gas & electricity reading at date of entry and how many sets of keys were given to you when you took on the tenancy. It purpose really is when you damage something and there is a dispute then the Inventory will be put to use to show as evidence of the record to prevent the dispute and determine who is the responsible party and therefore the party who ultimately has to pay for the damage.
Inventory can differ from one landlord to another and in different length too. It can be of paper document, photographic documents or video document. The most effective method of Inventory is video documents as is speaks louder than words on paper when it is in video. The bottom-line is most home occupiers or tenants should not need to use these documents if they are a good tenant. And most of the time it is only formality.
Terminating The Tenancy Agreement
If you decide you no longer want to stay in the property for whatever reason, you must give notice to the landlord by written and better still verbally as well. Normally it is outlined how long of a notice is needed to be served before the tenancy is terminated. This is normally set in 2 months advance notice at times it can be of a month. This applies to the landlord too if he decides you are unfit for the property or for whatever reason he'll have to give you notice.
Annual Safety Checks
The landlord will instruct Corgi Registered gas engineer to carry out annual gas safety check to the property including gas boilers for central heating systems, gas cookers & oven and gas fire. In fact any appliances that uses gas, it will be checked annually. This is law and not an option for landlords or the tenants to give access. You as a tenant are obliged by law to give access on request to carry out these safety precautions. If you do not give access through repeated request the court can be involved to gain access. These checks are all paid for by the landlord and after all it is for your safety not the landlord's.
If you sell your property quickly for whatever reason and rent it back the landlord will even upgrade the flat for safety measure for example by installing a cabled smoke alarm system. The reason it has to be cabled is most people do not bother or forget to replace batteries ones and therefore putting their own lives and others in danger. Again cabled smoke alarm is law too so neither landlord or tenant have an option to choose.
Doing Up Your Home
If you want to lay new carpets, repaint & decorate the property or install new kitchens or bathroom etc, you are advised to talk to the landlord first. In most cases the landlord just want to know everything is done properly and safely and there will be no problem in doing so.
End of the day, it is really a home to you as you occupies the property and not to the landlord. So the landlord understands you will want to personalise decoration and colours that suits you. In general as long as you pay your agreed rent each month it really should be not much of the difference from what it was before if you owned the property and sold to rent back. Saying that if you can not keep up your rent, it will put both sides under pressure as mentioned earlier the landlord has outlays and outgoings to maintain monthly.
The landlord might opt to instruct a letting agent to look after the property on his behalf. In such case you'll be dealing with an agent instead of directly with your landlord. But that should not be of any difference to you. Normally if the landlord is of too far of a distance from you or it is in the interest of you to put it under an agent the landlord would do so as s/he may be far too busy dealing with other areas.
You may want to look at our other pages for more information or may decide you are ready to speak to us now. You can contact QSP - Quick Sale Properties, on our 24 hour freephone number 0800 298 5606 and we'll be more than happy to help you out. We always listen with sympathy and are friendly, understanding and keen to help at all times. You can also fill out our enquiry form and we'll be in touch soon. You are under no obligation at anytime, QSP - Quick Sale Properties services are 100% free with no hidden cost or fee.
We hope our information has helped you in understanding more about tenancy agreements and we look forward to assisting you, QSP - Quick Sale Properties.