What does an assured tenancy mean in England and wales?

April 1, 2019

What does an assured tenancy mean in England and wales?

The type of assured tenancy agreement that applies to a tenant is generally as a result of when the agreement for first made. However, there are differences between assured tenancy agreements made in England and Wales compared to those in Scotland.

In this post, we will look at assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) and assured and regulated tenancies in England and Wales while in our next post we will take a look at the types of assured tenancy agreements that apply in Scotland.

Assured and regulated tenancies

In England and Wales, a tenancy agreement made between 15th January 1989 and 27th February 1997 is likely to be an assured tenancy. This type of agreement gives tenants increased protection from eviction as with an assured tenancy agreement, landlords must wait for the fixed period to elapse before giving notice.

Most assured tenancy agreements were issued by Housing Associations or Housing Trusts and enable tenants to live in a property for a fixed term as long as they don’t break the terms of their tenancy agreement. An assured tenant has long-term tenancy rights giving them the security of knowing they may not be evicted without reasonable grounds.

An assured tenant may have a periodic tenancy agreement that rolls on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis. Or it could be a fixed-term tenancy for a set period such as 12 or 18 months. When the fixed term expires, it can continue as a periodic tenancy unless the tenant signs up for a new fixed term.

Before 15th January 1989, most tenancy agreements were known as ‘regulated tenancies’ as they are regulated by the Rent Act, which has its own requirements regarding the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords. Regulated tenancies come with very stringent rights and since January 1989, they are only used in limited circumstances.

Assured shorthold tenancies (ASTS)

A tenancy agreement made on or after 28th February 1997 is generally an assured shorthold agreement unless the tenancy agreement states otherwise.

The most common form of tenancy is an AST and most new tenancies are automatically this type. A tenancy can be an AST if all of the following are applicable:

  • The property is let by a private landlord or housing association
  • The tenancy started on or after 15 January 1989
  • The property is the tenants’ main accommodation

Under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, the landlord has the right to regain possession of their property at any time after the fixed term of the tenancy agreement has ended.

AST agreements that don’t have fixed terms are known as ‘periodic tenancies’. In these circumstances, landlords are able to give their tenants notice that they are terminating the tenancy at any time during a periodic tenancy.

In our next post, we’ll take a look at the types of assured tenancy agreements that apply in Scotland.

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