Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it’s important to know which type of tenancy agreement you have in place – and why.
So is it an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, Assured Tenancy, Protected Tenancy, Secure Tenancy, Common Law Tenancy, Demoted Tenancy, Introductory Tenancy, Protected Shorthold Tenancy, Family Intervention Tenancy, Replacement Tenancy, Tied Accommodation Tenancy, Periodic Tenancy, Statutory Periodic Tenancy, Bare Licence, Excluded Licence or Contractual Licence?
Yes, really. There are 16 different types of tenancy and licence agreement, each with their own sets of requirements. For example, if you want to evict an Assured Shorthold Tenant, there are 17 grounds for doing so. But there are 20 grounds for evicting Secure Tenants. There are also different notices that have to be served – eight at last count. And if you get something wrong, you have to go back to the beginning and start again.
A licence is just a permission to occupy, and there are no rights to transfer the licence or sub-let it. The landlord simply has to withdraw permission from the occupier to stay there. However, for contractual licences a court order is necessary and excluded licences demand that ‘reasonable notice’ has to be given.
Most importantly, it doesn’t matter what the landlord calls the agreement.
The case of Street v. Mountford 1986, established the basic conditions for creating a tenancy at common law. The decision in this case stated that for a tenancy to exist three elements had to be in place:
If these three factors exist, a tenancy exists – regardless of what either the landlord or the tenant decide to call it.
However, if a tenant moved in between January 15th 1989 and February 29th 1997, a previous type of tenancy, called a Section 20 notice, applies – this was a special type of notice that had to be served to create an AST, in the days before ASTs were the default tenancy. Tenants who moved in between January 15th 1989 and February 28th 1997, under a Section 20 notice, will have greater security of tenure than those with a more formal tenancy agreement.
Clearly, tenancies are a complex area and landlords are unlikely to have the specialist knowledge needed to negotiate their way through this potential minefield. Today, ASTs are the most common form of Tenancy Agreement but you should seek expert advice. There’s more information on the landlords resources area of our website, but please feel free to ask our lettings team for more detailed information.
View all posts by Marc von Grundherr