Leasehold Reforms: Longer fixed term tenancies?

The government is presently consulting, via the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, in relation to the possibility of granting longer fixed term tenancies for Assured Shorthold tenants.

Presently, under the Housing act 1988, an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (more commonly known as an AST) must be at least six months in duration, for it to be considered an AST.

If these proposals are considered and are progressed, this will result in an AST having a minimum three-year term, albeit a six month tenant only break clause will be included to enable the tenancy to be brought to an end, should it be required.

A landlord would only be able to obtain possession prior to the end of the 3 years term if there were some breach of the tenancy, akin to circumstances where section 8 proceedings are required.

This will mean that landlords will be tied in with longer term lets, and therefore will be less able to remove tenants, even where they may be slightly problematic.

If you have any queries concerning Assured Shorthold Tenancies, please do not hesitate to contact this firm's Real Estate Litigation Department on 01702 338 338 or