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Can I grant an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for less than 6 months?

You can grant an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (‘AST’) for as long or as short as you want however you cannot require the tenant to leave before they have been in occupation for at least 6 months.  For example, a section 21 notice (as it currently stands) is a no-fault eviction notice which means that you can ask the tenant to leave without them having actually done anything wrong.

Obviously, landlords are not in the business of evicting their tenants for no reason, and we find that the majority of reasons that a landlord serves a section 21 notice is because they either intend to sell the property and would like vacant possession or they are intending to move into the property or allow a family member to move in.  We don’t want to scare you but if you have a son or daughter currently at University be prepared for them to call!  We often have the landlord’s asking us to help them evict a tenant so that one of their children can move into the property once they have finished education.

In short, you can serve a section 21 notice whenever you like after the tenancy has started however you have to give the tenant at least 2 months’ notice.  The notice has to expire on or after the expiry of the fixed term of the tenancy and, regardless of the fact that you have stated in the AST that the term is only 3 months unless the tenant is willing to leave after 3 months, you could not ask them to leave any earlier than 6 months after the date the tenancy started.

So, just to be clear, you can state that the fixed term of the AST is 2 weeks, 8 weeks or even 16 weeks but from a legal point of view, in order to evict the tenant, you would need to serve a section 21 giving them 2 months notice and the notice couldn’t end earlier than 6 months from the date they took up occupation of the property regardless of the shorter terms detailed in the AST.  If you are at all unclear, why not contact the professionals at Shergroup and let us not only reassure you as to how best to deal with it, but also to deal with it for you!

Content Writer​

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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