20 Apr 2017, 1:20pm

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  • AST

    Assured Shorthold Tenacy

    The piece of 1997 legislation that makes renting so vile for tenants in the UK compared to civilised countries.

    An Assured Shorthold Tenancy entitles the landlord to a possession order immediately after the initial agreed period, which is usually for six months. The landlord is therefore able to evict the tenant after the initial fixed term without a legal reason.

    The assurance is all in favour of the landlord, and is a key enabler of BTL, which so damaged the prospects for first-time buyers in the UK, because richer people could jump in ahead of them, take out a mortgage on the property and then rent it out to them. Thus reducing the pool of houses suitable for first time buyers and increasing the demand. BTL landlords had the advantage of being able to offset the interest paid on their mortgages against tax until this  was stopped by George Osborne in 2016.

    BTL exploded from the late 1990s on.

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