Assured shorthold tenancies
When you enter an assured shorthold tenancy – the most common type – you are entering into a contractual arrangement.
This gives you some important rights as well as some responsibilities.
This will help you create a positive relationship with your landlord, but will also tell you how to get help if things go wrong.
Take your time to read documents and contracts carefully. When you rent a home, people sometimes expect you to make a quick decision, or to sign documents before you’ve had time to think about them.
You shouldn’t feel forced into a decision and it is important to understand the terms and conditions of any contract you are agreeing to before you sign it.
Your landlord must provide you with a copy of this guide, so use the checklist and keep it safe to protect yourself from problems at every stage.
This guide is for people who are renting a home privately under an assured shorthold tenancy, either direct from a landlord or through a letting agency. Most of it will equally apply if you are in a shared property but in certain cases, your rights and responsibilities could vary.
Assured shorthold tenancies – page 3
Who is this guide for? – page 3
Before you start – page 4
Renting from a landlord or a letting agent? – page 4
Ways to rent a property – page 5
Looking for your new home – page 5
Things to check – page 5
When you’ve found a place – page 7
Check the paperwork – page 7
Living in your rented home – page 8
The tenant must… – page 8
The landlord must… – page 9
At the end of the fixed period – page 10
If you want to stay – page 10
If you or the landlord want to end the tenancy – page 10
If things go wrong – page 11
Plus further sources of information
This guide will help you to understand what your rights are, what responsibilities you have and what questions to ask.