Renewing Tenancy Agreement after More than 10 Years Break
Question: My husband and I have lived in a rented room of a shared house for almost twenty years now. Only in the first year did we sign an Assured Short-term Tenancy Agreement. The Landlord did not bother to keep the agreement up to date for reasons not known to us. But now, almost nineteen years on, he has very recently requested we sign a new ASTA. But having been here so long without any written agreement, we’re not sure what our status is? We’re looking for advice on renewing a tenancy agreement after a 10 year break.
Answer: If you moved in before October 1997 you and your landlord may not be protected by the rolling contact of the ASTA. Your landlord may have recently been made aware of this hence why he believes in adding security by entering into a new contract.
Regardless of time limits, if you have lived in the house, previously on an ASTA at the moment a landlord must give you two months’ notice if he wants you to leave. You only have to give 1 months’ notice which could be an incentive to renew a written contract.
If you refuse to enter into another contract your landlord can give you the two months’ notice however there are many reasons why an ASTA is beneficial for both tenants and landlords.
ASTA Benefits for Tenants:
- Tenants have clear terms and conditions to follow
- Tenants have security for six or twelve months
- Tenants are protected against oral rent hikes (although the landlord is permitted to raise the rent every twelve months in line with inflation)
- The landlord is bound to carry out repairs
- The landlord is bound by the contract to allow you to live in peace.
ASTA Benefits for Landlords
This depends on what you include in the tenancy agreement, however whatever you stipulate must be followed (once signed by the tenants) by law.
For instance if you don’t permit pets, you can evict the tenants or make extra charges if they break the rule.
Other benefits include:
- Security of monthly rent, if the tenant leaves before the end of the contract they are bound by law to pay rent up until the end.
- The tenant has clear terms and conditions that make them liable for specific areas, such as internal decoration or council tax bills.
- You choose what you would like your tenants to do as part of the agreement, such as maintenance of garden, keeping noise levels low and maximum occupancy guidelines.
In this case the deposit is incredibly crucial for both the tenant and the landlord. As the tenancy began over 19 years ago before the deposit protection laws were in place, both parties must take action.
If the landlord is renewing or asking for a new ASTA, they must also, by law ensure that any deposit or bond is placed in a DPA and account details are made available to the tenants.
As long as the tenant abides by the agreement this will be released at the end of the tenancy.