Types of tenancies

There are many types of tenancy, but fortunately few agents meet more than one or two of them.

The most common types of residential tenancy that an agent find themselves dealing with are those based on the Housing Act 1988, which received royal assent on 15 January 1989. This replaced the Rent Act 1977 and prevented any more tenancies being created under that act.

Most agents find that the vast majority of tenancies they deal with are assured shorthold tenancies under the Housing Act 1988. Having a good understanding of the law relating to this type of tenancy and the main types of non-Housing Act tenancy is likely to cover 99% of situations.

However, the Renters Reform Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in May 2023 and sets out significant changes to private rented sector tenancies, including the end of assured shorthold tenancies. It is not yet known when the bill is expected to become law and there are likely to be changes to the bill as it progresses through Parliament. However, going forward all private sector tenancies will be periodic assured tenancies. More detail is provided in this section.

The information in this section now only applies in England. On 1 December 2022, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 came into force which changes housing law in Wales. Occupiers in Wales are now provided with ‘occupation contracts’ rather than tenancy agreements.

For commentary on other types of residential tenancy, see Special tenancies.

This section is maintained by Tamanna Begum of Anthony Gold Solicitors.