Types of tenancies
On 1 December 2017 a new type of tenancy came in to force, called the Private Residential Tenancy. This replaced the assured and short assured tenancy agreements for all new tenancies.
Private Residential Tenancy
Any tenancy that starts on or after 1 December 2017 will be a private residential tenancy (PRT). This new tenancy will replace the assured and short assured tenancy and will bring in changes and improvements to the private rented sector, including:
- No more fixed terms - PRTs will be open ended, meaning the landlord can't ask the tenant to leave just because they have been in the property for 6 months as they can with a short assured tenancy;
- Rent increases - Landlords can only increase the rent every 12 months. If the tenant thinks the proposed increase is unfair they can refer it to a rent officer;
- Longer notice period - if the tenant has lived in the property for longer than 6 months the landlord will have to give at least 48 days notice (unless the tenant has broken a term in the tenancy agreement);
- Simpler notices - the notice to quit process will be scrapped and replaced by a simpler notice;
More information on Private Residential Tenancies can be found on our Tenancy Agreements page.
An assured tenancy gives the tenant greater security of tenure and is suitable for properties that you want to rent out on a long term basis. It is important to note that you cannot end an assured tenancy unless you have a valid ground for doing so.
If you already have a tenant and they have moved into the property and either they haven’t signed a tenancy agreement or an AT5 was not served, then they will be an assured tenant unless the property falls into one of the excluded categories.
If you want to rent out your property on a short term basis, or if you want to rent it out for a long time but with the ultimate aim of selling it, then you should use a short assured tenancy (SAT).
A short assured tenancy is a tenancy that is for six months or more. Most short assured tenancies are for a fixed period of six months or a year to begin with and a clause is placed in the tenancy agreement that states they will continue from month to month thereafter. This simply means that the tenancy will continue on a monthly basis after the initial term. This can make it much easier to end the tenancy.
A tenancy is only a short assured tenancy if you serve a Form AT5 (pdf) on your prospective tenant before they sign the tenancy agreement and before they move into the property. You must give your tenant a copy of the AT5 to keep. You should also keep a copy. It is recommended that you get your tenant to sign the AT5 to state that they have read and understood it and to confirm that it was served before the creation of a tenancy. This means that you will have proof of serving the AT5 if there is a dispute later. Refer to the guidance notes before serving an AT5.
In addition to the AT5, the tenancy agreement should state that it is to be a short assured tenancy and that an AT5 has been served. Again, this is further proof that the AT5 was served.
Once all documents have been signed and you have accepted payment of the deposit and rent you can give the tenant keys to the property.
Housing and Property