AST, easy as 1,2,3?

One thing I have noticed in my short legal career so far is the rising number of private residential landlords that are approaching us asking for advice on how to get a troublesome tenant under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”) out of their property.

Many of these people are looking for a clean break from the property and just wish to sell up but are finding a tenant dragging their heels and making the landlord jump through hoops to force them out.

To avoid problems in the future with your tenant, make sure on, or preferably before completion of the AST, you (or your managing agent) have handed over to the tenant:

  1. The Government issue “How to Rent” booklet;
  2. An Energy Performance Certificate for the property; and
  3. A Gas Safety Certificate for the property.

Many London boroughs are now heading towards making private landlords obtain property licences from the local council or they face the prospect of a large fine or even prosecution. Check whether you are in one of these boroughs before you rent out your residential property.

Finally, you will need to make sure that any deposit handed over is protected as soon as possible after the AST is entered into. Produce evidence of such to the tenant soon thereafter or be prepared for a long slog with your tenant to get them out.

The above is by no means a definitive guide but certainly helps if you want to serve a valid notice when it comes to kindly asking your tenant to leave.

If you do require any further information, please do contact us.

Harry Rudolf – Associate Solicitor

 

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Jury O'Shea