As a tenant, it`s crucial to understand the ins and outs of your tenancy agreement. An assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) is the most common form of tenancy in the UK, and it guarantees a tenant certain rights. However, what happens if your AST agreement lapses?
Firstly, it`s important to define what a lapsed AST agreement means. An AST agreement is valid for a fixed term, typically six to twelve months, and once that period ends, the agreement will lapse. If you continue to reside in the property without a new agreement, you will become a periodic tenant, meaning your tenancy will continue on a rolling basis.
This can be problematic for both the tenant and the landlord as the terms of the original agreement may no longer apply. For example, the landlord may want to increase the rent, but without a new agreement, they cannot do so until six months have passed. On the other hand, the tenant may wish to vacate the property but is unable to do so until a notice period has passed.
One potential issue with a lapsed AST agreement is that it can leave the tenant vulnerable to eviction. If the landlord wants to evict the tenant, they may be able to use a Section 21 notice, which can only be served if the fixed term of the tenancy has expired. If you receive a Section 21 notice, you will have two months` notice to vacate the property.
To avoid these issues, it`s important to ensure that you have a new AST agreement in place before the original agreement lapses. This new agreement will outline the terms of your tenancy going forward, including the length of the term, the rent amount, and the notice period required by both parties.
In conclusion, ensuring that you have a valid AST agreement in place is crucial for both tenants and landlords. A lapsed AST agreement can cause confusion and leave the tenant vulnerable to eviction. To avoid these issues, make sure you have a new agreement in place before the original agreement lapses.