On 1 October 2010, the threshold rent for the ‘assured tenancy’ regulations to apply to a property rose to £100,000 per year. The change affects both new and existing tenancies. The previous limit, which had remained unchanged for more than two decades, was £25,000.
An assured tenancy has rights which it has always been considered inappropriate to grant to tenants of luxury properties, but, with the passage of time, some large but ordinary properties fell into the ‘exclusion zone’ because the gross rents exceeded £25,000. Most of the tenancies affected by the change will now be assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs).
The implications for landlords are:
Any deposit received under an AST (including deposits in connection with renewals of tenancies) must be dealt with via one of the approved tenancy deposit protection schemes;
The form of notice to quit changes under an AST and the landlord is required to serve a minimum of two months’ notice on the tenant at the end of the term or at a break point in the lease, regardless of the lease terms; and
The tenant is also entitled to a minimum of six months’ tenure: even if the lease term is for a shorter period, a landlord cannot recover possession of the let property until the expiry of six months.
There are other significant changes which apply to ‘pre-1997’ common law tenancies (which will be few in number) and some disposals of tenanted properties.
Lastly, there is an ‘accelerated possession procedure’ which applies to ASTs and which will become more commonly available.