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An assured shorthold tenancy agreement (also known as an AST) allows a landlord to let a property to a tenant. The term of an assured shorthold tenancy agreement is usually 6 or 12 months and will usually convert to a rolling periodic tenancy at the end of the initial term.
A rolling tenancy is a tenancy which automatically renews periodically on a rolling basis until either the tenant or the landlord serves notice. The renewal period will depend on the payment frequency of the rent. For example, a tenancy where rent is paid monthly will renew on a monthly basis. A tenancy where rent is paid every 6 or 12 months will renew for 6 or 12 months respectively.
Landlords might seek a longer tenancy term to provide rental income certainty. A 12 month term can achieve this while providing enough time for the tenant to settle in whilst giving them an option to release themselves from the tenancy should their personal or professional situation change.
A rolling tenancy is common in teancy agreements as it can give confidence and certainty to both the landlord and tenant after the initial term that the property can be occupied and rent will be paid. However, if the landlrd wants to recuperate the property at the end of the initial term, they should make sure that the tenancy agreement does not automatically convert to a rolling periodic tenancy and serve a notice before the end of the fixed term to recuperate it. This is often the case for private landlords who let out properties to student tenants for 12 month fixed terms at a time.
Under a 12 month rolling assured shorthold tenancy, the landlord and tenant will have obligations, liabilities and consents which need to be clearly spelled out in the contract. For example, a tenant must not use the property for illegal, immoral or antisocial purposes. The landlord must not interrupt the tenant's right to quiet enjoyment. The tenancy agreement should also specify details about the property and common parts, how the tenancy can be terminated within or after the initial term, as well as the rent, payment frequency and payment dates.
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