Non-Ast Tenancy Agreements

Non-AST Tenancy Agreements: What You Need to Know

Non-Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreements are a type of tenancy agreement that does not fall under the scope of the Housing Act 1988. They are not as widely used as AST agreements, but they are still an important option for both landlords and tenants.

Non-AST agreements are typically used for commercial properties or residential properties that fall outside the scope of the Housing Act, such as holiday lets or student accommodation. They offer more flexibility than AST agreements, but they also come with greater risks and responsibilities.

Here are some key things you need to know about non-AST tenancy agreements:

1. They are not governed by the same rules as AST agreements

As non-AST agreements do not fall under the Housing Act 1988, they are not subject to the same rules and regulations as AST agreements. This means that landlords and tenants have greater freedom to negotiate the terms of the agreement, including the length of the tenancy, rent increases, and notice periods.

However, this also means that there is no standard template for non-AST agreements, so landlords and tenants should seek legal advice to ensure that the agreement is legally binding and enforceable.

2. They do not offer the same level of protection as AST agreements

One of the main benefits of AST agreements is that they offer tenants a high level of protection, including the right to remain in the property for the duration of the tenancy, the right to challenge unreasonable rent increases, and the right to receive notice before eviction.

Non-AST agreements do not offer the same level of protection, so tenants should be aware of their rights and responsibilities under the agreement. They should also ensure that the agreement includes clear terms and conditions, such as notice periods for ending the tenancy and the conditions for returning the security deposit.

3. They may require additional legal advice and documentation

Non-AST agreements can be more complex than AST agreements, particularly if they include provisions for commercial or mixed-use properties. As such, landlords and tenants may need to seek additional legal advice and documentation, such as a lease agreement or licence agreement.

Landlords should also be aware of their responsibilities under commercial law, such as health and safety regulations and fire safety requirements. They should ensure that the property is safe and fit for purpose, and that they have the necessary permissions and licences to let the property.

4. They may be subject to different tax rules

Non-AST agreements may also be subject to different tax rules than AST agreements, particularly if the property is used for commercial purposes. Landlords should seek advice from a qualified accountant or tax advisor to ensure that they are complying with their tax obligations.

In conclusion, non-AST tenancy agreements offer landlords and tenants greater flexibility than AST agreements, but they also come with greater risks and responsibilities. If you are considering a non-AST agreement, it is important to seek legal and tax advice to ensure that you are complying with all relevant regulations and requirements.