Regulated tenancies

You usually have a regulated tenancy if your private tenancy began before 15 January 1989.

What is a regulated tenancy?

A regulated tenancy is a long-term tenancy with a private landlord.

You probably have a regulated tenancy if you pay rent to a private landlord and your tenancy started before 15 January 1989.

You could be a regulated tenant if you later signed a new tenancy agreement after that date with the same landlord, even if it is at a different address.

You won't be a regulated tenant if you've lived in the same property as your landlord since your tenancy started.

Use Shelter's tenancy checker if you're not sure what type of tenancy you have.

Fair rents

Regulated tenants pay a fair rent which is lower than a market rent.

A fair rent is set by a rent officer at the Valuation Office Agency. This is the maximum rent your landlord can charge you under the tenancy.

Check GOV.UK to find out if a fair rent has been set on your tenancy

If a fair rent hasn't been set, either you or your landlord can apply to register a fair rent.

Rent increases

Your landlord can apply to increase the registered fair rent once every 2 years. 

If the rent officer increases the rent, the landlord must give you a official notice of increase before you have to pay the increase.

You can write to the rent officer within 28 days of their decision if you think the registered rent is too high.

The rent officer will refer the case to the Residential Property Tribunal.

A tribunal could increase the rent further so get advice before appealing.

Help to pay the rent

If you have a low income and need help pay your rent, you could claim housing benefit or universal credit depending on where you live.


Your landlord has to keep the structure and exterior of your home in good repair. This includes the roof, guttering, walls, windows and doors.

Your landlord must also keep any gas, electricity, heating, water and sanitation equipment in good repair.

Your landlord must have a current gas safety certificate for any gas appliances they provide. Furniture provided should be fire resistant.

You are responsible for looking after the property and for carrying out minor repairs such as changing a fuse.

Find out more about responsibility for repairs.


You have the right to rent out a room to a lodger unless your tenancy agreement says you must get your landlord's permission first.

Ending your tenancy

You can end a tenancy by giving your landlord notice in writing of at least:

  • four weeks if you pay your rent weekly
  • one month if you pay your rent monthly

Your tenancy agreement might say you must give a longer period of notice.

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

The first day of a period of your tenancy is the anniversary date each week or month of when your tenancy began. This is often the same date that your rent is due, but not always. Check with a housing adviser if you're not sure about the dates.

If you are still in a fixed-term period of your tenancy you can only give notice if your tenancy agreement says this is allowed.

A regulated tenancy can also be ended at any time if both you and your landlord agree. This is known as surrendering a tenancy.

Get your landlord's agreement in writing if you want to surrender your tenancy.

Eviction of regulated tenants

Regulated tenants have strong tenancy rights.

You can only be evicted from a regulated tenancy if your landlord gets a court order. Your landlord must prove there is a legal reason to evict you.

Your landlord can take court action to evict you if you do not pay your rent.

In most cases the court must also decide whether it is reasonable for you to be evicted.

It is easier to evict you if you no longer live in the property.

Illegal eviction

It's illegal eviction if your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order.

Your local council can help if you're illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord.

A court can order your landlord to let you back into your home.

Get advice now if you are facing illegal eviction or harassment.

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone.

Succession rights after the death of a regulated tenant

The inheritance of a tenancy is known as succession.

If you were living with the tenant before their death, you can inherit a regulated tenancy if you were their:

  • husband, wife or civil partner
  • cohabitee

The tenancy remains a regulated tenancy if no one else had previously inherited the tenancy.

You could also inherit the tenancy if you are another member of the regulated tenant's family and you were living with the tenant for at least the two years before the death of the tenant. The tenancy becomes an assured tenancy.

Sometimes there is more than one person living with a tenant who could succeed to the tenancy if the tenant dies. Only one person is allowed to succeed. Joint succession is not allowed. A husband, wife, cohabitee or civil partner always takes priority over another family member.

A regulated tenancy can be inherited twice in very specific circumstances. The person who succeeds in this case will be an assured tenant.

Get advice about regulated tenancies

Find out more from GOV.UK about regulated tenancies.

Use Shelter's directory to find a housing adviser

Last updated 25 Jun 2018 | © Shelter

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