Minimum AST length?

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  • Minimum AST length?

    Hi,

    I'm wondering what the minimum allowable AST length is. I have a 1-bed flat in Manchester, and someone wants to rent it for 3 months only. The gentleman concerned is Indian and is working over here on an IT contract.

    Is a 3 month AST allowable/legal?

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    6 months is minimum

    Comment


    • #3
      Really....is it actually illegal to do a 3 month AST, or just not recommended?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hamario View Post
        Really....is it actually illegal to do a 3 month AST, or just not recommended?
        if you do an AST for anything less than 6 months and need to gain possession you cannot serve a S21 until 6 months have elapsed. My recommendation would be to draw up a 6 months AST and let them leave early if thats what you are happy with.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hamario View Post
          Really....is it actually illegal to do a 3 month AST, or just not recommended?

          There is nothing preventing you from offering a short tenancy but you would not be able to claim for possession until after the 6mth mark if the tenant refused to vacate at the end of the 3mth period. In law the minimum AST is 6mths (whether written or verbal) so the earliest you could seek possession through the courts is upon expirey of 6mths!

          J

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          • #6
            Hamario: if you yourself have ever lived in the flat as owner-occupier, forget use of AST. Instead, let on Standard Assured Tenancy BUT, before granting it, serve a Notice under ground 1 of Schedule 2. That Notice gives you an equivalent "right to posseession" route, similar to s.21 yet without the AST's six-month problem.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


            • #7
              thanks for all the advice guys....appeciated!

              Hamario: if you yourself have ever lived in the flat as owner-occupier, forget use of AST. Instead, let on Standard Assured Tenancy BUT, before granting it, serve a Notice under ground 1 of Schedule 2. That Notice gives you an equivalent "right to posseession" route, similar to s.21 yet without the AST's six-month problem.
              Jeffrey, I have never lived in the flat myself so i guess this isn't an option.

              if you do an AST for anything less than 6 months and need to gain possession you cannot serve a S21 until 6 months have elapsed. My recommendation would be to draw up a 6 months AST and let them leave early if thats what you are happy with.
              Thanks Poppey, I think this is probably my best option and the one I'll go with.....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                Hamario: if you yourself have ever lived in the flat as owner-occupier, forget use of AST. Instead, let on Standard Assured Tenancy BUT, before granting it, serve a Notice under ground 1 of Schedule 2. That Notice gives you an equivalent "right to possession" route, similar to s.21 yet without the AST's six-month problem.
                Ground 1 of Schedule 2 MUST be served in conjunction with Ground 2 and will not on its own succeed in circumventing the tenant's right to a 6 months minimum term. If the landlord is in arrears then possibly it would be, but it would have to be an amount usually equivalent to 9-12 months mortgage payments before a court will grant possession. Suggesting an Assured Tenancy is not as sensible as suggesting a tenancy at common law taking it out of the Housing Acts altogether, which doesn't even require the landlord to serve Notice to end the tenancy.

                Originally posted by smandir
                6 months is minimum
                This is rubbish!
                The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
                  if you do an AST for anything less than 6 months and need to gain possession you cannot serve a S21 until 6 months have elapsed.
                  Agreed.

                  Originally posted by Poppy35
                  My recommendation would be to draw up a 6 months AST and let them leave early if thats what you are happy with.
                  But why not simply make it a 3-month one? As far as I'm aware there's nothing dodgy about doing that, the only proviso being that the LL accepts that he can't serve S21 until after 6 months. And it sounds like the only reason the LL wants to let for 3 months is because the tenant wants to, and if so if the tenant did overstay the 3 months it wouldn't be the end of the world.

                  I think setting up a 6-month tenancy agreement in this case will just complicate matters for no reason. Might also worry the tenant unnecessarily, into thinking he might get forced into paying for 6 months.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                    Ground 1 of Schedule 2 MUST be served in conjunction with Ground 2 and will not on its own succeed in circumventing the tenant's right to a 6 months minimum term. If the landlord is in arrears then possibly it would be, but it would have to be an amount usually equivalent to 9-12 months mortgage payments before a court will grant possession. Suggesting an Assured Tenancy is not as sensible as suggesting a tenancy at common law taking it out of the Housing Acts altogether, which doesn't even require the landlord to serve Notice to end the tenancy.

                    This is rubbish!
                    Paul_f: your first comment is misleading. The six-month rule is specific to s.21 procedure which itself is specific to ASTs, so using SAT for shorter term (if ground 1 were applicable, which is not here the case anyway) would have avoided the rule.
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okay! but has it ever been used in your experience?
                      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                        Okay! but has it ever been used in your experience?
                        Answer: Yes.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Could you issue a 3 month ast with the rent paid 3 monthly in advance so after 3 months and a day and no more money had been received they would be 2 months in arraers so a S8 can be served????

                          Just a thought

                          Also I`m sure I`ve got some info on serving a s21 with a 3 month ast if i dig it out i will put it on.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnboy View Post
                            Could you issue a 3 month ast with the rent paid 3 monthly in advance so after 3 months and a day and no more money had been received they would be 2 months in arraers so a S8 can be served????

                            Just a thought

                            Also I`m sure I`ve got some info on serving a s21 with a 3 month ast if i dig it out i will put it on.
                            No. The "two month arrears" rule in ground 8(b) applies to a monthly rent only. For a quarterly rent, ground 8(c) requires "at least one quarter's rent [to be] more than three months in arrears".
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hamario View Post
                              Hi,

                              I'm wondering what the minimum allowable AST length is. I have a 1-bed flat in Manchester, and someone wants to rent it for 3 months only. The gentleman concerned is Indian and is working over here on an IT contract.

                              Is a 3 month AST allowable/legal?

                              Many thanks!
                              You are fine to grant him a 3 month AST. If the tenant has asked for three months only, he will probably only require it for 3 months and leave on time, without you worrying about having to evict him until after 6 months has elapsed.
                              All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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