The main types of tenancy you can set up are an:
The main difference between them relates to security of tenure – i.e. how easily a tenant can be evicted from a property. A landlord can regain possession of their property far more easily with an assured shorthold tenancy.
In certain circumstances, a tenancy can't be an assured shorthold or an assured tenancy and is, instead, a regulated tenancy (with its own provisions about the rights of landlords and tenants).
Any residential tenancy entered into on or after 15 January 1989 for premises let as a separate dwelling will be an assured tenancy, as long as the:
Tenancies that aren't assured tenancies (including assured shorthold tenancies) are outside the scope of this guide.
These are the exceptions where a tenancy is not an assured tenancy:
An assured tenancy made on or after 28 February 1997 will automatically be an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) unless it falls within one of the exceptions below. (A tenancy starting between 15 January 1989 and 28 February 1997 was an AST only if this was stated in the tenancy agreement or in a written (not oral) notice served by the landlord called a 'section 20 notice'.)
These are the exceptions where an assured tenancy made on or after 28 February 1997 is not an AST:
This last exception provided some protection for tenants who had an existing assured tenancy when ASTs were introduced. It prevents the landlord of a pre-existing assured tenancy simply turning it into an AST by ending the old assured tenancy and having the same tenant enter into an AST agreement instead. This exception doesn't apply if the tenant had served a notice on the landlord before the new tenancy started stating it was to be an AST.
You can set up any assured shorthold tenancy or assured tenancy as:
A tenancy that's a periodic tenancy by agreement with the tenant is called a contractual periodic tenancy.
If you start with a fixed-term tenancy and allow the tenant to stay in the property without a new agreement at the end of the fixed term, the tenancy will automatically become what's called a statutory periodic tenancy.
You're recommended to use an assured shorthold tenancy if you may want to regain possession of the property after a period of time. If you have a mortgage on the property, the terms of the loan may require you to use this type of tenancy.
You could use an assured tenancy if you're thinking of letting the property indefinitely. You should, however, take legal advice before making such a decision, as you'll only be able to regain possession if certain grounds for possession apply.
If you're sure you want to set up an assured tenancy (and not an assured shorthold tenancy), all you need to do is:
For more on the grounds for possession, see
You can only seek possession during the fixed term of a fixed-term tenancy if certain grounds for possession apply and the tenancy agreement states that the tenancy can be ended on any of these grounds (such as rent arrears or nuisance behaviour by the tenant), or if there is a break clause (a term of the agreement that allows you to end it during the fixed term).
Periodic tenancies – assured tenancy
You can only seek possession if certain grounds for possession apply.
Periodic tenancies – assured shorthold tenancy
A periodic tenancy must normally run for a minimum period of 6 months. You can seek possession during the first 6 months only if certain grounds for possession apply and the tenancy agreement states that the tenancy can be ended on any of these grounds (such as rent arrears or nuisance behaviour by the tenant).
You're free to seek possession after the minimum 6-month period as long as you've given the tenant a valid written notice (giving at least 2 months' notice of the intended possession date) and met certain other requirements. For more about seeking possession of the property, see.