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Model Tenancy Agreement for ASTs - A new dawn?

 

Article date:  03/11/2014

The Department for Communities and Local Government has recently published a long awaited model tenancy agreement for Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

The model tenancy agreement is made available free of charge and can either be completed online or downloaded and completed manually. This is a welcome relief to Landlords who may in the past have paid for sub-standard, outdated and unsuitable tenancy agreements. It also comes with its own in-built detailed guidance for tenants and landlords on the meaning of the clauses, and a checklist for Landlords to help them comply with all of their duties.

Whilst this all sounds great, there are a few points to note:

  • It includes a rolling three month break clause, which both tenants and landlords may not find appealing;
  • It assumes a fixed percentage rent increase per annum which may not always be suitable;
  • It allows business use in some circumstances;
  • It runs to over 40 pages - is this overkill!?
  • It is unsuitable for higher value tenancies (over £100,000 per annum);
  • Landlords will still need to ensure that they comply with Deposit Protection legislation and prescribed information will need to be served separately;
  • It does not have an execution date to note the date the agreement is entered into (as opposed to the term commencement date).

That said, with a small amount of rewording it has the workings of a well rounded, balanced and competent tenancy agreement. If you would like to discuss this further or have the tenancy agreement tailored to suit your needs, please contact either Laura Westwood or Nyree Applegarth.

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