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Looking For A House? Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) – What Does It Mean?

An AST does not have any minimum required duration, unlike tenancies granted before February 29, 1997, which had to be for at least 6 months. However, the courts cannot grant order of possession during the first 6 months. The tenant must leave at the end of a fixed term that is specified in the agreement.

ASTs are agreed on a fairly simple basis, with only the duration of the term, the amount and frequency of rent payments being stipulated requirements for the agreement. Most AST agreements will go into more detail than this, but that is at the landlord's discretion.

The courts must grant the landlord possession if he or she applies for it at the end of the fixed term. The landlord is able to make an agreement with the tenant to take up another assured shorthold for a fixed or periodic tenancy. However, if the landlord wishes the tenant to vacate the property, then at least two month’s notice must be given, in writing, to the tenant.

Your AST should set out the following detail:


This ensures that your deposit is protected so that at the end of your tenancy you are entitled to get all or part of your deposit returned; and any disputes between you and the landlord/letting agent will be easier to resolve. The tenancy agreement should set out the Tenancy Deposit Scheme in which your deposit is protected.






  • There may well be an addendum or attachment to the agreements if you are using a guarantor.
  • Make sure you get a copy of the agreement to keep.
  • Many agreements are vague on what is reasonable wear and tear. It is not unreasonable for you to ask the landlord to clarify in writing what is meant by reasonable.


ARC offer a contract checking service so please book an appointment so that we can review and clarify your tenancy agreement before you SIGN IT. You can contact us by email:, or by calling us on 01895 269 169.



To find out more about renting, please come along to the Housing Fayre (Featuring Fresh Meet) event on Monday 19th January 2015 – 12 noon to 6pm, The Academy, Hamilton Centre