Getting your AST right

Landlords beware: Getting your AST right from the go!

Are you a residential landlord? Landlords entering into an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) should do so with care. They need to get things right from the outset, otherwise problems could be stored up for later.

The tenancy deposit is one issue that frequently catches landlords off guard. Within 30 days of the date when the tenancy deposit is “received” a landlord must protect the deposit with an authorised scheme and obtain a deposit protection certificate for the tenant. The landlord must also provide the tenant with the “prescribed information” concerning the operation of the deposit scheme.  Failure to comply with the tenancy deposit legislation can:

a.     prevent a landlord from obtaining possession on a non-fault basis (by Section 21 Notice), and

b.    expose the landlord to a claim for statutory compensation of between 1 to 3 times the amount of the deposit, for each breach of the tenancy deposit legislation. Click here for our article on tenant claims for compensation where more than one tenant is involved.

Landlords need to be alert to other matters too. The case of Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz (February 2018) made clear that if the tenant is not provided with a gas safety certificate before the start of the tenancy, a Section 21 Notice will be invalid. A landlord must get this right at the beginning. The law in relation to ASTs is being reviewed by the government and landlords should seek advice.

For more information on getting your AST right, contact Gregory Ostroff on 020 7034 4206.

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