Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST)

Free tenancy agreement

We have prepared a printable assured shorthold tenancy agreement template (England & Wales), also known as an AST agreement form, for you to use. Use this free document to help put together your own shorthold tenancy agreements. 

What information is included on a tenancy agreement?

  • A tenancy agreement is a contract between the landlord who owns the property and the person(s) who wish to stay at the property for an agreed amount of rent each month.
  • The agreement details the property to which the contract applies, the parties involved and each party’s rights and responsibilities.

For example, a landlord must ensure that the property is safe and in good repair, and the tenant must abide by expected reasonable behaviour, including taking care of the property and not causing a statutory nuisance to neighbours.

  • The agreement also lists information about the deposit, including the amount and the deposit protection scheme used to safeguard the tenant’s monies for the duration of the tenancy.
  • Whether the rented property is furnished or unfurnished will be specified on a rental agreement.

How to use this free tenancy agreement document

This template is based on the model tenancy agreement offered by the Department for Communities and Local Government. In this version, some parts are free to edit, whilst others are protected against unintentional editing.

We recommend, however, that, before relying on the document, you have it reviewed by, and seek advice on it from, a person with the appropriate technical skills and expert knowledge to ensure that it is suitable for your circumstances.

We explain below how you can edit any part of the document.

  • To cycle quickly through the parts of the document that are free to edit, click on the ‘Review’ tab. In the ‘Protect’ group, click on ‘Restrict Editing’. Click ‘Find Next Region I Can Edit’.
  • You can turn highlighting on and off by checking or unchecking ‘Highlight the regions I can edit’.
  • To enable editing for the rest of the document, click ‘Stop Protection’.

Current assured shorthold tenancy agreements became law in 1997

All ASTs are regulated under part 1 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended under part 3 of the Housing Act 1996). Legislation has changed and developed over the past decades and under different governments.

This legislation defines what constitutes a legal tenancy agreement. It sets out the statutory minimum length of a tenancy and describes how and when either party may terminate the agreement.

But some old laws still apply, such as the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out in law certain obligations landlords must fulfil. This includes disclosing to the tenant certain information, ensuring the property is fit for habitation and taking responsibility for certain repairs.

2005 Guidance from the Office of Fair Trading about unfair terms in a tenancy agreement

Under the unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, standard terms (i.e. those that have not been individually negotiated) used by landlords in pre-formulated tenancy agreements with tenants must be fair and clear. The regulations set a minimum standard not only of fairness, but also transparency.

Read up on the OFT guidelines

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has provided detailed guidance on unfair terms in tenancy agreements. These guidelines set out many examples of AST terms that the OFT considers unfair (unfair terms are unenforceable) and give examples of what the OFT considers to be fair alternatives.

Important: please note

The information provided on this website was, and the documents that can be downloaded from this website were, believed to be correct at the time that they were first added to, or made available for download from, this website. However, law, guidance and practice affecting the documents and information may have changed since that time and if you intend to use the information or documentation in a manner that may expose you or others to liability or loss you should have the information and/or documents reviewed by, and seek advice on it and them from, a person with the appropriate technical skills and expert knowledge before using or relying on such information or documentation. Use of this website is subject to our terms and conditions for its use, which also apply to documents downloaded via this website and other information and documents accessed via this website.