A assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) is a contract between a landlord and tenant. It can be written or oral, and gives certain rights to each party.
Both parties have rights and responsibilities that are laid out by law. The tenancy agreement can give you more than your statutory rights, but not less.
If a term in the tenancy agreement gives either party less than their statutory rights, that term can not be enforced.
Oral tenancy agreements are difficult to enforce as this is usually no proof of what has been agreed.
It is always best practice to have a written tenancy agreement.
It’s advisable to get a professional from the property industry to draft your tenancy agreement. They will be able to provide you with an assured shorthold tenancy agreement that is compliant with current legislation and ensure that there are no unenforceable clauses included.