As a tenant in the UK, you are likely to have signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement when you moved into your rental property. This is a legally binding document that sets out the terms and conditions of your tenancy, including when it comes to an end. In this article, we will explore what happens at the end of an AST and what you need to know as a tenant.
When does an AST come to an end?
The most straightforward way for an AST to come to an end is for it to be allowed to expire. Most ASTs are for a fixed term of six or twelve months, and at the end of this period, the tenancy will naturally come to an end. If you wish to stay in the property beyond the end of the fixed term, you will need to negotiate a new agreement with your landlord.
What happens at the end of an AST?
When an AST comes to an end, there are several things that landlords and tenants need to consider. Firstly, the landlord will need to decide whether to renew the tenancy or take possession of the property. If the landlord wishes to renew the tenancy, they will need to offer the tenant a new agreement to sign. If the tenant decides not to renew the tenancy, they will need to vacate the property at the end of the term.
If the landlord decides not to renew the tenancy, they will need to serve notice on the tenant. Depending on the circumstances, this can either be a section 21 notice, which gives the tenant two months` notice to vacate, or a section 8 notice, which is served in cases where the tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy agreement. In either case, the landlord must give the tenant the proper notice period before the end of the tenancy.
What happens if the tenant wants to stay?
If the tenant wishes to stay in the property beyond the end of the fixed term, they will need to negotiate a new agreement with their landlord. This can either be a new fixed-term agreement or a periodic tenancy, which means that the tenancy rolls over on a month-to-month basis. The advantage of a periodic tenancy is that it gives the tenant more flexibility, as they can give notice at any time and are not tied into a long-term contract.
Understanding what happens at the end of an AST is essential for both landlords and tenants. If you are a tenant, make sure you know when your tenancy is due to expire and whether you wish to renew or vacate the property. If you are a landlord, make sure you give the proper notice period if you wish to take possession of the property or offer the tenant a new agreement if you wish to renew the tenancy. By following these steps, both parties can ensure a smooth end to the tenancy.