If the applicant is an individual and the net rent is less than £100,000 per year, Temples will use an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. There is no longer a minimum period for such lettings. However, if the tenant fails to surrender possession at the expiry of the term (and in accordance with your Section 21 Notice) a possession order will be obtained. No such order can expire within the first six months of a tenancy commencing unless the tenant is in breach of the tenancy. Our Assured Shorthold Tenancy has been approved by Pain Smith Solicitors – specialists in the legal field of residential lettings www.painsmith.co.uk
Any residential tenancy where the rent equates to an annual rate in excess of £100,000 p.a is excluded from the Housing Acts 1988 and 1996 (AT or AST) rules and therefore must be a common law tenancy. In the case of a common law residential tenancy, the tenant’s rights are mainly dependent on the terms of the agreement, and therefore similar to a commercial lease, they are contractual or “non-statutory contractual tenancies” as opposed to those being regulated by parliamentary law. Although this is not governed by the Housing Act 1988 it is nevertheless subject to other statutory regulation (e.g. Protection from Eviction Act 1977) which means a landlord must obtain a possession order from the County Court before a tenant can be evicted.
This is a tenancy outside the protection of the Housing Act 1988 and is subject to common law. Generally speaking these involve more pre-contractual negotiation. There are no rent restrictions.
A sum of money (usually five or six weeks’ rent) paid to the landlord (or agent) of the property, which is returned at the end of the tenancy, subject to the condition of the property and adherence to the Tenancy Agreement.
Since October 2008, all residential rental properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). These are provided by Domestic Energy Assessors. EPCs look similar to the energy labels on domestic appliances such a fridges. The energy efficiency and environmental impact of your property will be rated on a scale of A – G. Current running costs for heating, hot water and lighting will also be shown on the certificate, together with a list of energy-saving improvements. This certificate is now a legal requirement to place your property on the lettings market, and, policed by Trading Standards, failure to comply can result in a £200 fine.
The entitlement to hold a property with a perpetual right. There is no limit of time to hold the property like in the case of leasehold property. A freehold property lies with the title holder unless they transfer it of their own accord
The property contains furniture – usually includes white goods such as fridges and cookers as well as general furniture such as tables, chairs and beds.
The holding deposit shows good faith on the part of a prospective tenant enabling the landlord to take further action in the confident knowledge that the applicant is serious and fully committed to the property. Actions usually include taking the property off the market, cancelling prospective viewings, turning away any further applications and taking up references.
In the event of the tenant subsequently “pulling out” and the tenancy agreement falling through, the landlord may well decide to keep this holding deposit to compensate the inconvenience and cost caused.
Once the tenancy agreement is signed the holding deposit will then be credited in part or in full to the Damage Deposit (Security Deposit), to be held by the landlord or the agent throughout the term of the tenancy in accordance with a tenancy deposit protection scheme (which does not apply to holding deposits).
HMO – Houses in Multiple Occupation
There is a general wide definition of the regulations which state that the following are HMOs:
• student accommodation during term time
• properties inhabited by three or more people who are not a household and share kitchen and bathroom facilities. A household is defined as parents, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins
• a building converted into flats pre June 1992 which does not comply with the Building Regulations 1991, has not been subsequently up-dated to the relevant fire safety standard and where a third or more of the properties are rented on short term tenancies.
The landlord may not have to carry out any action to ensure compliance. The above properties like all private dwellings must comply with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (“HHSRS”) which is the new statistical means of measuring hazards and risk of injury at a property.
If the premises is three storeys or more and has five or more occupants who do not form one household and share kitchen or bathroom facilities it is subject to mandatory licensing. The landlord will need to apply to the Local Authority and pay for the licence.
Inventory and Schedule of Condition
The Inventory and Schedule of Condition comprehensively records the condition of the property, internally and externally as well as that of the contents. Any item to be included as part of the property/premesis should be included on the Inventory, as well as appliance user guides and meter readings.
The definition of leasehold is the right to hold or use the property for a fixed period of time at a given price, without transfer of ownership, on the basis of a lease contract. A leasehold is a fixed asset.
Some furniture is provided by the landlord – may include white goods such as fridges and cookers as well as one or more items of general furniture such as sofas and tables but not all items of main furniture.
An appliance of less than 18kg in mass that is intended to be moved whilst in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. vacuum cleaner, toaster, food mixer, etc.
Arrangement whereby tenants can purchase a property they have been renting for a period of time. In some cases, the rent they have paid during the tenancy, or part of it, is taken by the owner towards their purchase.
A sub-let is where a tenant lets the property to another tenant. Sub-letting is not normally allowed without the prior consent of the landlord. Check your Tenancy Agreement for more information.
Sub-Letting by a Landlord
If you are yourself a leaseholder, you will normally require the consent from your superior landlord, freeholder or their managing agent before you can sub-let the premises to a tenant.
In giving consent the superior landlord or their managing agent may require references for the tenant, and an agreement to observe the covenants contained in the head lease. A fee may be charged for granting consent to sub-let which is the tenant’s liability. Temples will need a copy of the head lease together with any schedules referred to therein so that we can attach a copy of this to our draft Tenancy Agreement. If the tenant is not given a copy of the relevant section of the head lease a it is not possible to impost any obligations contained in it upon the tenant. This could lead to a breach the terms of the lease.
The granting of temporary possession of a property to a tenant by a landlord.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
An insurance-based tenancy deposit protection scheme which Temples registers all damage deposits we have been instructed by landlords to hold against Assured Shorthold Tenancies.
Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999
The main piece of legislation that impacts on residential tenancies which states that any clause in a contract which is unfair to the tenant could be void and therefore unenforceable. It states that all terms in a contract must be fair and written in plain English. If a term is deemed unfair it will not be binding on a tenant, even if it is in a signed lease contract.