Types of Letting Contract

If you are not sure which agreement you should be using, we would encourage you to seek legal advice. Please see here for links to places where landlords can obtain advice.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST)

These are the most common form of contract and are used where a tenant has exclusive possession of a property or a room.

This type of tenancy grants a tenant the right to live in the property for a period of time, either for a fixed term period or on a week by week or month by month rolling contract, which is known as a periodic tenancy.

The legal notice that a landlord is required to issue to bring an AST to an end is a Section 21 Notice, which gives the tenant at least two months notice.

Where a tenant has an AST, their deposit must be protected.

You can find a link to the model DCLG tenancy agreement here which can be used free of charge. In the future the ULHS shall be providing a tenancy agreement for registered landlords to use.

Bare Contractual Tenancy Agreement

A Bare Contractual Tenancy is used when it is legally impossible for an AST to exist. This could be because a landlord lives in another flat in the same building as his tenant (unless it is a purpose built block of flats) or the annual rent is more than £100,000 per annum.

To bring a bare contractual tenancy to an end the landlord must serve a Notice to Quit in the prescribed form. The period of notice depends on the agreement but if it is silent, then a minimum of 4 weeks or one full periods length of tenancy (if longer) and the notice must expire on the last or first day of a period of the tenancy.

There is no obligation on the landlord to protect the deposit.

Licence Agreement

This is a less formal occupation agreement and is used when the occupier is sharing the accommodation with their landlord, they are paying guests of other tenants, or they are living in a hall of residence.

In order to bring a licence to an end, the landlord or tenant should give notice in writing. Where a tenant pays the rent monthly then the landlord and tenant should give one months notice and where the rent is paid weekly then the notice period is a week.

There is no obligation on the landlord to protect the deposit.

The ULHS provide a Licence Agreement for landlords and if you would like a copy please telephone or e-mail us.