Tenancy Agreements

The default tenancy type in the private sector is the assured shorthold tenancy.  The assured shorthold was created by the Housing Act 1988. 

Assured short-hold tenancies will NOT apply where:

  • The landlord lives in the same building and has done throughout the tenancy, UNLESS it is a purpose built block of flats where the landlord lives in one flat and the tenant in another
  • The tenant was previously an assured (non-shorthold) tenant of the same landlord immediately before the tenancy was granted
  • The tenancy was entered into before 15 January 1989, or pursuant to a contract made before this date
  • They are high or low value lets i.e. under £250.00 per annum or over £100,000 per annum
  • Lets to students by the college or university they are studying at 

They apply when:

  • The tenant moved in on or after 15 January 1989
  • A ‘section 20’ notice was served on the tenant before the tenancy was created, if the tenancy started between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997;
  • The tenancy is of premises which is let as a separate dwelling
  • The tenant is an individual (as opposed to a company)
  • The tenant occupies the premises as his only or principal home

There are certain other exceptions that prevent a tenancy being an assured shorthold.

You are under no obligation to grant a fixed term tenancy.  An assured shorthold tenancy can be periodic (i.e. run from week to week, or from month to month) from the outset.But you will not be able to exercise your automatic right to a possession order before the first six months of the tenancy has ended. It is important to remember that once a fixed term assured tenancy ends, the tenancy does not end (unless the tenant moves out on the last day of the term or the tenant agrees to vacate). When the fixed term ends a periodic assured shorthold tenancy automatically arises. The period of the new periodic tenancy will be the same length as the periods for which rent was payable under the previous fixed term tenancy.

In short, if you don’t want to give the tenant a new fixed term agreement, there is no need to do so. The tenancy will merely run on as a periodic tenancy.


Housing Options Team
Tel: 01248 751850/752168/752225/751849