An Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (AST) is a legal contract between the property owner and the tenant. This agreement sets out the terms and conditions of a tenancy including how long the agreement will be in place and the rent that the tenant should pay.
How do you know if you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?
The agreement will be an AST if:
* You moved into the property on or after 28th February 1997
* You are renting from a private property owner
* You have rights which entitle you to privacy in the property where the property owner cannot enter the property without mutual agreement
* The property owner is not living in the same property as you
* You are paying less than £100,000 per annum in rent.
The property owner may increase the rent during the renewal process of the agreement after the initial period. The property owner may evict the tenant if they do not agree to the rent increase. The tenant can seek advice from the Rent Assessment Committee if the rent has increased significantly during the first six months of the tenancy. The Rent Assessment Committee consists of three individuals: a lawyer, a property valuer, and a lay person. The committee decide on a fair market rent for the property being let. This is to ensure that the tenant is being treated fairly and paying for the right amount for what the property is worth. The committee will conduct an analysis of comparable properties in the area to make their decision on how much the rent should be. No fees are charged for asking the committee to set a market rent for a property.
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