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Assured tenancies with private landlords

Most private renters have assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs).

You could have an assured tenancy if all of these things apply:

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

  • your landlord did not give you a notice to say you had an AST when you moved in

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

Assured tenants have better rights than most other private renters. Your landlord cannot evict you without a reason.

You could still have an assured tenancy even if you signed an AST agreement:

  • when you moved in

  • as a replacement tenancy at a later date with the same landlord

Example: Assured tenancy even if you sign a new agreement

Jo moved in to her private rented home in 1996. She still lives there.

She was not given anything to say the tenancy was an AST when she moved in so she has an assured tenancy.

Over the years Jo has signed a few tenancy agreements for the same property with the same landlord. The most recent agreement said it was an 'assured shorthold tenancy'.

Jo is still an assured tenant even though the agreement says something different.

She was an assured tenant when she moved in. She is still an assured tenant because she rents the same home from the same landlord.

Use our tenancy checker to check your tenancy type

How long your tenancy lasts

Most assured tenancies are periodic rolling tenancies.

A periodic tenancy rolls on usually on a monthly basis. It does not have an end date.

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 the tenancy

  • your landlord evicts you using the legal process

If you sign a fixed term agreement, it continues as a periodic rolling tenancy when the fixed term ends.

Eviction by your landlord

Your landlord can give you a section 8 notice as a 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 if it is reasonable for you to be evicted.

Living away from your home

You lose your rights as an assured tenant if the property is no longer your main home. Your landlord could end your tenancy with a notice to quit.

You can spend a time away from home and still keep your assured tenancy as long as it's still your main home. For example, if you are:

  • in hospital

  • in prison

  • caring for a relative

You may need to show that you are planning to return. For example, by leaving your personal belongings at home and checking on the property.

Landlord harassment and illegal eviction

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

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

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

Find out how to deal with:

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.

Check rent levels in your area before you decide to challenge an increase at a tribunal. The tribunal might decide your landlord is asking for too much, but they could also decide you should pay more.


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. Any furniture provided should be fire resistant.

Your landlord must arrange gas safety checks each year.

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

Passing on an assured tenancy if you die

Your tenancy could pass to your married, civil or unmarried partner if they live with you when you die. This is called having 'succession rights'.

If you do not have a partner, another family member who lives with you can take over the tenancy if the tenancy agreement says this can happen.

Succession is usually only possible if the tenancy has not been passed on this way before. Check your agreement to see if it says this can happen more than once.

If nobody has succession rights

Your tenancy can pass to:

  • someone else under your will

  • your closest relative if you do not make a will

If they live there they will inherit an assured tenancy. But the landlord can use a special ground to end the tenancy if this happens.

The landlord must:

  • give the person who inherits a section 8 notice that mentions ground 7

  • apply to court within a year of your death

If they do not do this, your relative can stay on as an assured tenant.

Ending your assured tenancy

You and your landlord can agree to end the tenancy. This is known as a surrender.

Ask your landlord to confirm what you agree in writing to avoid any disputes.

You can also give a 'notice to quit' to end a periodic assured tenancy.

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.

Find out more about ending a periodic tenancy.

Last updated: 2 April 2024

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