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Advice on your housing rights and responsibilities

If you are a tenant your rights would depend on the type of agreement you have and the existing situation when you moved in.

Different types of tenancies:

Assured shorthold tenancies

If you moved in between 15 January 1989 and 28 February 1997 you were given a section 20 notice by your landlord stating you were an assured shorthold tenant.
If you moved after 28 February 1997 and there is no written notice stating that it is an assured tenancy and the following conditions met:

  • the annual rent is less than £100,000
  • the initial fixed period has no more than three years
  • you do not share facilities i.e. bathroom with your landlord
  • the accommodation is not rent free or tied to your job
  • the accommodation is not a holiday let
  • the accommodation is not rented from a government or educational institution
  • the tenancy is not let with property of more than 2 acres of land

you are an assured shorthold tenant.

You have low security of tenure but your landlord cannot evict you without following the correct eviction procedure. This means that he cannot evict you during the first six months of your agreement (minimum) or first term (unless there is a break clause). He can only evict during the above stated periods if you have breached the terms of your tenancy.

In order to evict you he must give you at least two months notice or two weeks notice if there is a breach of the terms of the agreement by you. When the notice expires and if you are still in the accommodation, your landlord would need to apply for relevant court orders to evict you.

You should however know that you may be liable to pay any court costs if an order is obtained against you.

Assured tenancy

If you moved in between 15 January 1989 and 28 February 1997 and you were not given a section 20 notice by your landlord stating that the tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy and the following conditions are met

  • the annual rent is less than £100,000
  • the initial fixed period has no more than three years
  • you do not share facilities i.e. bathroom with your landlord
  • the accommodation is not rent free or tied to your job
  • the accommodation is not a holiday let
  • the accommodation is not rented from a government or educational institution
  • the tenancy is not let with property of more than 2 acres of land

you are an Assured tenant.

You have greater security of tenure than an assured shorthold tenant. Your landlord cannot evict you without following the correct eviction procedure. This means you may only be evicted if you breach any of the terms of the tenancy. It also means you have a right of succession i.e. a partner of the opposite sex can take over your tenancy if you die.

In order to evict you your landlord will serve you with a notice which could be two weeks or two months depending on the grounds of eviction. When the notice expires and if you are still in the property he would need to apply for a court order. You may be liable for all court costs.

Protected tenancy

If your tenancy began before 15 January 1989 and the following conditions are met:

  • you pay rent for the accommodation
  • the landlord does not live with you
  • you are not provided with services or food or share facilities

then you are a protected tenant.

As a protected tenant you have the strongest rights of any private tenants. For example, you can only be evicted if your landlord can prove to the courts that there are grounds and that it is reasonable to do so. Your landlord cannot arbitrarily increase your rent.

In order to evict you your landlord would have to serve a notice of at least four weeks in a prescribed form and once expired and if you are still resident in the property, he would need to apply for a court order. If possession is granted to your landlord, you may be ordered to pay his court costs.

Tied /service accommodation

This is accommodation provided by your employer, probably as a condition of your employment. Your rights may be limited but it is advisable to seek independent legal advice. Your landlord would however need to serve you with notice.

Resident landlord (No facilities shared with landlord or any members of their family)

You would have basic protection, if your landlord was not living there when your tenancy started, you could be an assured or assured shorthold tenant. In order to evict you, your landlord would need to serve you notice and may need to get a court order.

Resident landlord (Shared accommodation/facilities)

You will be excluded from protection meaning that your landlord does not need a court order to evict you.

Licensee

You are a licensee if you do not pay rent for your accommodation or you are staying with friends/family. Your landlord would only need to serve you with a reasonable notice in order to evict. He does not need to obtain a court order.

In all cases, if it is likely that peace would be breached, the landlord would need to obtain a court order as it is a criminal offence to use force to evict.

However where you are having problems with your landlord or any excluder we can mediate and carry out investigations where necessary.

Follow the links below for more information. 

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 11 Jul 2016 at 15:27