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Security of tenure

This content applies to England & Wales

Different types of tenancy and other types of occupation status explained, including the impact on security of tenure, rights of succession and possession proceedings.

Basic principles: Security of tenure

An explanation of security of tenure. The different types of tenure. 

Tenancy checker

The tenancy checker will help you to determine what type of tenancy an occupier has. 

Joint tenancies

Definition of a joint tenancy, joint and several liability, and how housing law applies to joint tenants. 

Secure tenancies

The law concerning secure tenancies and licences. 

Flexible tenancies

This section explains the law regarding flexible tenancies. 

Introductory tenancies

The law concerning introductory tenancies. Rights of introductory tenants and the ways introductory tenancies can end. This section should be read in conjunction with the secure tenancies section. 

Demoted tenancies

Demoted tenancies. How landlords can regain possession of a demoted tenancy, and how tenants may be able to defend a possession claim. 

Family intervention tenancies

Family intervention tenancies. What they are and how landlords can terminate them. Also includes information regarding review procedure. 

Public sector licences

Licences for local authority accommodation granted instead of tenancies. 

Assured tenancies

Information about assured tenancies. 

Assured shorthold tenancies

The assured shorthold tenancy, a type of assured tenancy. The special features of an assured shorthold tenancy that differentiate it from an assured tenancy, including how a landlord can regain possession. 

Regulated (protected) tenancies

The law governing regulated tenancies. 

Protected shorthold tenancies

Protected shorthold tenancies, which were created by the Housing Act 1980 and abolished by the Housing Act 1988. 

Restricted contracts

Restricted contracts as defined by the 1977 Rent Act. It conferred limited security of tenure on certain residential occupiers who did not qualify for the much fuller security of the regulated tenant. 

Basic protection and excluded occupiers

The rights of occupiers with basic protection and excluded occupiers. The term 'occupiers with basic protection' is used in this section, however, this group has no designated title; some housing law textbooks refer to them as 'unprotected occupiers' others as 'occupiers with limited protection'. 

Tied accommodation

The position of occupiers who live in accommodation provided by their employers. 

Agricultural occupiers

The definition and rights of agricultural occupiers. 

Armed forces accommodation

The position of armed forces personnel who live in family accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence. 

Housing co-operatives

Housing co-operatives and how they work. Information on how people can get housed in housing co-operative accommodation and what security of tenure occupiers have. Information about setting up a housing co-operative. 

Mobile homes

Rights of mobile home occupiers. 

Gypsies and Travellers

An overview of the law relating to Gypsies and Travellers. 

Tenants of mortgagors

The rights of tenants who face eviction by their landlord's mortgage lender. 


Security of tenure of subtenants, and at their position when the immediate landlord's lease comes to an end. The section covers both private and public sector subtenancies. 

Property guardians

Information on property guardians and guardian agencies. 


The rights of squatters. The definition of a squatter and how squatters can be evicted, with or without a court order. The defences that may be available to squatters, and how squatters may be able to acquire ownership of property through adverse possession. 


Tenants' rights to pass on their public and private sector tenancies. 


There are specific rules governing succession to different types of occupany when the occupant dies. 

End of tenancy notices

Legal requirements that must be satisfied for a notice to be valid when served in relation to ending a tenancy or licence. The requirements for a surrender of a tenancy. 

Possession proceedings

Procedures that must be followed during possession proceedings relating to tenancies and licences of residential premises. Public law, human rights and disability discrimination defences, and the implications of bankruptcy and debt relief orders on possession proceedings. 

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