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Tenancy agreements

The majority of private rented tenants are assured shorthold tenants. They can only be evicted in certain circumstances and landlords must follow certain rules and procedures.

What sort of tenancy do I have and what are my rights?

Assured shorthold tenancy

If your tenancy is for a fixed period of time, such as six months (a 'fixed term' tenancy) you can only be evicted during the fixed term if your landlord has a legal reason (or 'grounds' to do so). This could be due to many reasons, including anti-social behaviour or non-payment of rent. The landlord must give correct Notice which can be either 14 days or two months, depending on the reason your landlord is using and then obtain a possession order.

Following the fixed period you become a periodic tenant and the landlord does not need a ground to evict you, however he or she still has to follow the correct process, which is usually a two month written Notice followed by a possession order.

Assured tenant

You may be an assured tenant if you moved into your current property prior to 1997 and received a Notice stating that you are an assured tenant.

You can only be evicted if your landlord can prove a reason (or 'ground') to the Court.

Occupiers with Basic Protection

You are likely to be an occupier with basic protection if:

  • you live in the same building as your landlord but do not share living accommodation with the landlord (for example if your landlord lives in a separate flat within the same converted house)
  • you live in a student hall of residence
  • you pay a very low rent or a very high rent

If you are a fixed term occupier your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order after the end of the fixed term. There is no need for the landlord to give you Notice.

If you are a periodic occupier your landlord must give you a written Notice and then apply for a possession Order before you can be evicted. They don't have to give a reason but they must usually give you at least four weeks notice.

Excluded Occupiers

You are likely to be an excluded occupier if you share living accommodation with your landlord. If you are an excluded occupier your landlord can evict you without having to go to court.