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Types of assured tenancy

This content applies to England

Different types of assured tenancy.


An assured (and assured shorthold) tenancy can be:

  • a fixed-term tenancy – where the landlord and tenant have agreed the tenancy will run for a set period of time, eg six months
  • a periodic tenancy – for an indefinite period with the rent being paid on a periodic basis, eg weekly, monthly, yearly
  • a statutory periodic tenancy – where the fixed term has expired and the landlord and tenant have not agreed to a fresh fixed term, a statutory periodic tenancy arises automatically.[1]

The status of tenancies created by the Housing Act 1988

The majority of private sector and housing association tenancies entered into on or after 15 January 1989 are assured or assured shorthold tenancies. Assured shorthold tenancies are a type of assured tenancy that must meet all the conditions of an assured tenancy and not come within any of the exceptions to an assured tenancy.For information on the particular features of assured shorthold tenancies, see the section on Assured shorthold tenancies.

From 28 February 1997, most private sector or housing association tenancies will automatically be assured shorthold tenancies unless the landlord chooses to grant an assured tenancy.[2]This is a reversal of the previous situation where tenancies were automatically assured unless the landlord took the correct steps to create an assured shorthold. However, private registered providers of social housing (PRPSH) [3] (housing associations, non-profit making companies and industrial and provident societies) continue to grant assured tenancies, although many will only do so after the expiry of a starter assured shorthold tenancy.

The status of tenancies created by the Housing Act 1980

Prior to the Housing Act 1988, an assured tenancy was one granted by an approved landlord (often a housing association) of premises newly built or substantially reconstructed, in respect of which a notice saying the tenancy was assured was served before the start of the tenancy. These tenancies were different from the type of assured tenancy created by the Housing Act 1988 (see section below). These 'old style' assured tenancies were, in most cases, converted into new assured tenancies when the Housing Act 1988 came into force.

Fixed-term tenancies (PRPSH only)

With effect from 1 April 2012, private registered providers of social housing (PRPSH) can grant assured and assured shorthold tenancies with a fixed term of more than three years without a deed (ie the contract must say it is a deed and the signatures of the landlord and tenant must be witnessed) - except when they are either long leases (granted for 21 years or more) or shared ownership properties.[4]

[1] s.5(2) Housing Act 1988.

[2] s.19A Housing Act 1988 (inserted by s.96 Housing Act 1996).

[3] s.1 Housing Act 1996.

[4] s.52 Law of Property Act 1925 as amended by s.156 Localism Act 2011.

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