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What is an Assured Tenancy?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
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An assured tenancy is a type of tenancy in the United Kingdom where tenants are allowed to remain, as long as they don't violate the terms of the housing contract, and the landlord can only evict in special circumstances. As the name implies, tenancy is assured either until the end of a fixed term or essentially forever. One very common variation is the assured shorthold tenancy, where tenants have security for a limited period of time and landlords can ask tenants to leave after giving proper notice.

Housing legislation passed in the 1980s and 1990s created the framework for assured tenancy. In an assured tenancy, as long as tenants abide by the terms of a housing contract, they cannot be asked to leave. Tenants cannot sublet without landlord permission, but they can reassign the tenancy to a spouse after death. Landlords are allowed to charge fair market rates for rent and can periodically raise the rent to reflect a rising cost of living.

Landlords can retake an assured tenancy if they can show the rent is in arrears or that other violations of the housing contract have occurred. This creates a mechanism for removing dangerous or problem tenants without violating the security of reasonable tenants who might be concerned about being asked to leave. In a fixed term assured tenancy, the security lasts for a set period of time and can be renewed or terminated at the end of that time.

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Certain types of housing are exempt from this legal protection. If the landlord lives on site, except in housing designed for this, like mixed apartment buildings, it is not subject to assured tenancy law. Likewise, student housing and housing provided by the Crown are not covered. Exemptions are listed in the housing acts, which are the various acts of legislation pertaining to landlord-tenant law and related issues. The text of these acts is readily available, along with plain language pamphlets and informational handouts for people who want a quick overview of common legal issues related to housing.

Landlords and tenants alike should make themselves familiar with their rights and responsibilities under the law. Particularly for people visiting a nation, it is advisable to get information about housing law so that renters will not be exploited by landlords taking advantage of their uninformed status. If people suspect that property owners are not complying with the law, they can file a report with a government agency, requesting an investigation and correction of the situation.

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