This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at

Lettings that cannot be restricted

This content applies to England

Lettings that cannot be restricted contracts.

A letting cannot be a restricted contract if it is one of the exceptions listed in the section 19 of the Rent Act 1977 (repealed by Schedule 18 of the Housing Act 1988):

  • a contract that creates a regulated tenancy
  • a contract under which the landlord is a local authority
  • a contract under which the landlord is the Crown or government department (unless managed by the Crown Estates Commissioners)
  • if the payment for any meals provided forms a substantial proportion of the whole rent[1]
  • a contract that creates a protected occupancy under the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976
  • where the landlord is a housing association or similar body
  • where the contract only gives the occupier the right to occupy the dwelling for a holiday
  • if the occupier does not have exclusive occupation of at least part of a property[2] - this is different from the exclusive possession test, which determines whether a tenancy can exist. It has been established that a licence could have a sufficient degree of exclusive possession to qualify as a restricted contract.[3]
  • if the rateable value of the property is in excess of the limits set out in section 19(4) Rent Act 1977.

[1] s.19(5)(c) Rent Act 1977.

[2] s.19(6) Rent Act 1977.

[3] Luganda v Service Hotels Ltd [1969] 2 CH 209, CA.

Back to top