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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.

Assured shorthold tenancy

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

Following the fixed period your tenant becomes a periodic tenant and you do not need a ground to evict your tenant, however you still have to follow the correct process, which is usually a two month written Notice followed by a possession order.

Assured tenant

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

You can only evict your tenant if you can prove a reason (or 'ground') to the Court.

Occupiers with Basic Protection

Your tenant is likely to be an occupier with basic protection if:

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

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

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

Excluded Occupiers

You have an excluded occupier if you share living accommodation with your tenant. An excluded occupier can be evicted without having to go to court.