What are the different types of tenancy arrangements?

by ContactLaw on November 25, 2011

  • Sumo

The most common type of tenancy arrangement in the private rented sector is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This is a tenancy agreement between a landlord and an individual. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy lasts for a fixed-term of between six months and three years, and grants the tenant the use of all or part of the property to the exclusion of everyone else, including the landlord. The landlord is prevented from entering the premises unannounced or without permission. Legal advice from a property solicitor should be taken if a landlord does enter a property they have no right to do so.

An important feature of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy is the protection offered to tenants by the Housing Act 1998. The Housing Act 1988 restricts the landlord’s ability to recover possession of their property unless the landlord can cite one of the grounds for repossession contained in the Housing Act 1988. A tenant should seek legal advice if their landlord is using the Act to gain possession of the property.

The grounds a landlord could use include the non-payment of rent for two or more months, or the tenant’s breach of the tenancy agreement. For example, they have caused the condition of the property to deteriorate, or have become a nuisance to the neighbours. In addition, the landlord can seek repossession if they intend to live in the property as their principal home. Under the Housing Act 1988 the landlord must apply to the court for a repossession order and serve the correct amount of notice on the tenant of their eviction. A property lawyer can assist any tenant that has and order served on them by the court.

A tenant is likely to have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy if they entered into their tenancy agreement on or after the 28 February 1997. Tenancy agreements entered into between that date and the 15 January 1989 are likely to be an Assured Tenancy. This type of arrangement is usually issued by a housing association or housing trust. An Assured Tenancy offers tenants a significant amount of security. They can continue to live in the property as long as they do not breach the terms of the tenancy agreement. An Assured Tenancy offers a tenant more protection under the Housing Act 1988. It is harder for a landlord to evict a tenant who has an Assured Tenancy. Legal advice from a property solicitor can clarify the precise rights that a tenant has with their landlord under the 1998 Act.

A Regulated or Protected Tenancy is a tenancy entered into prior to 15 January 1989 and offers a tenant the most protection from eviction. If a tenant or landlord is unsure about which type of tenancy arrangement they have or the type they should use for a new tenancy, they are advised to seek advice from a property solicitor.

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