When renting out a residential property it is important to have in place, at the outset, a valid tenancy agreement.
Set out below are the most common types of tenancy agreements used in relation to a residential property letting.
Which type of tenancy agreement?
Regulated tenancies apply to properties that have been rented since before 15 January 1989 and continue to be let under the same terms.
The majority of regulated tenancies are governed by the Rent Act 1977. It can be extremely difficult to evict a tenant who is protected under the Rent Act 1977 and when considering to do so, legal advice should be taken at the outset.
Since 15 January 1989 when the Housing Act 1988 was introduced, where a house was let, to an individual who occupied the house as their only or principal house, it was done so under an assured tenancy.
Assured Shorthold tenancies
Since 28 February 1997, most assured tenancies became assured shorthold tenancies.
Certain criteria must be met for a tenancy to be an assured shorthold tenancy. This criteria is set out in Schedule 1 of Housing Act 1988.
An assured shorthold tenancy grants a tenant exclusive possession of the property for a minimum period of 6 months. A landlord will have rights to retake possession of the property if the tenant breaches the assured shorthold tenancy in line with the grounds set out in Schedule 2 of Housing Act 1988.
With an assured shorthold tenancy, the landlord has a right to retake possession of the property at the end of the fixed term as set out in the assured shorthold tenancy. However, if the tenant does not willingly vacated the property, a landlord will need to follow the rules and regulations to enable it to regain possession of its property. A landlord cannot simply evict a tenant without complying with the law.