Assured tenancies

You are likely to be an assured tenant if all these apply:

  • you pay rent to a private landlord

  • your landlord does not live in the same building as you

  • you moved in between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997

  • your landlord did not give you a notice saying that you have an assured shorthold tenancy when you moved in

You can also be an assured tenant if you moved in after 27 February 1997. This can happen if:

  • your landlord gave you a written notice before your tenancy started saying that you have an assured tenancy

  • you previously had an assured tenancy in the same accommodation with the same landlord

Tenancies that can't be assured

Some types of tenancy cannot be assured tenancies, for example:

  • business tenancies

  • genuine holiday lets

  • university halls of residence

  • tenancies of agricultural land or holdings

  • tenancies where the rent is more than £100,000 per year

Most private tenants have an assured shorthold tenancy.

How long your tenancy lasts

Your tenancy might be:

  • periodic

  • fixed term

A periodic tenancy rolls on from week to week or from month to month.

A fixed term tenancy is for a set period of time, for example a year.

When a fixed term tenancy expires, it continues as a periodic tenancy unless you sign up for a new fixed term.

Your tenancy will continue until you or your landlord end it. Your tenancy can end if:

  • you serve a valid notice to quit

  • you and your landlord agree to end or surrender the tenancy

  • your landlord lawfully evicts you by following the correct procedure

Tenant's notice to end an assured tenancy

Periodic tenancy

If you have a periodic tenancy, you have to give your landlord a notice in writing. Your notice must be at least:

  • 28 days if you pay rent weekly

  • one month if you pay rent monthly

Your may have to give a longer notice if your tenancy agreement says so.

Your notice must end on the first or last day of the tenancy period, unless your tenancy agreement says something different.

The first day of a tenancy period is the anniversary date each week or month of when your tenancy began. This can be the same as when your rent is due but sometimes the dates are different. Get advice if you're not sure about the dates.

Your right to live in the property ends when your notice expires. Your landlord does not have to get a court order to evict you but must not use force or intimidation to make you leave.

Fixed term tenancy

Check your agreement if you have a fixed term tenancy. You can only give notice during the fixed term if your tenancy agreement says it is allowed.

It may be possible to leave on the day a fixed term agreement expires without giving any notice. But it's always best to let your landlord know what you plan to do to avoid disputes.

Surrendering a tenancy

It is possible for a tenancy to be ended at any time if you and your landlord agrees. This is known as surrender.

Get your landlord to confirm they agree in writing to avoid any disputes.

Eviction

Your landlord can give you a section 8 notice. This is the first step towards ending your tenancy.

You can only be evicted if your landlord can prove a legal reason to the court. In some cases the court must also decide whether it is reasonable for you to be evicted.

Your landlord cannot use a section 21 notice if you are an assured tenant.

Illegal eviction

It is a criminal offence if your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order.

Find out how to deal with illegal eviction.

Landlord harassment

You have the right to live in your accommodation without being unreasonably disturbed by your landlord.

Your landlord is not allowed to enter the property without your permission or interfere with your right to live in your home.

If your landlord tries to do this, they may be guilty of harassment.

Rent increases

Your rent can go up if:

  • you agree to an increase

  • your tenancy agreement has a rent review clause

  • your landlord uses a section 13 notice to increase your rent

How to challenge a rent increase

A section 13 notice must be on form 4.

Check for the date when the new rent starts.

You must get at least 1 month's notice of a section 13 rent increase.

You can challenge a section 13 rent increase through a tribunal.

The tribunal must receive your application before the date the new rent is due to start.

Download and complete form rents 1 from GOV.UK.

Send this to the tribunal for your region with a copy of the section 13 notice.

You can find the address of your tribunal regional office at the end of the form.

Responsibility for repairs

The law says your landlord is responsible for most repairs. This includes to:

  • the roof

  • guttering

  • walls

  • external doors and windows

Your landlord must also fix problems with gas, electricity, heating, water and sanitation equipment.

Your landlord must have a valid gas safety certificate for any gas appliances in the property.

Any furniture provided should be fire resistant.

Find out more about responsibilities for repairs.

Tell your landlord or letting agent if your accommodation needs repairs.

If your landlord doesn't do repairs, there may be steps you can take to get your landlord to carry out the work.

Your landlord may have more responsibilities if you live in a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Tenant's responsibility for repairs

You are responsible for using your home in a responsible way and for certain minor repairs.

This might include:

  • renewing sealant around the bath

  • changing a fuse

  • checking and replacing smoke alarm batteries

Find out more about your responsibility for minor repairs and maintenance.

Inheriting an assured tenancy

It is possible for a periodic tenancy to be passed on to a spouse, civil partner or partner who was living in the property at the time of the assured tenant's death. This is known as succession.

Succession is only possible if the tenancy has not previously been passed on this way.

Otherwise, you can only pass on a periodic assured tenancy to someone else if:

  • your tenancy agreement says you can pass on your tenancy

  • your landlord agrees to it

Your landlord may be able to end your tenancy if you attempt to pass your tenancy to someone else under any other circumstances.

Getting other people to live with you

Check your tenancy agreement to see if you are allowed to take in a lodger. If your tenancy agreement says nothing about this you must get your landlord’s permission first.

Your benefits could be reduced if someone else moves into your home. This can happen even if the person is a family member and doesn't pay you any rent.

Find out more about lodgers.

Living away from home

You lose your rights as an assured tenant if you no longer live in your accommodation as your only or main home. It is then straightforward for your landlord to end your tenancy.

It is possible to spend a long time away from home and keep your assured tenancy, for example because you are in hospital, in prison, or away caring for a relative. You may need to show that you are planning to return, for example by leaving your personal belongings at home.


Last updated: 7 February 2022

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