Tenancies Compared

  • Tenancies compared is complex as often there are only subtle or no differences between them.   Rather, it is the aspect upon which the user has in mind that determines what he calls the tenancy – see synonyms below.
  • Common Law Tenancies see section.
  • AST = Assured Short-hold tenancy – post 15 January 1989.
  • Pre AST – pre 15 January 1989 = Assured Tenancy Agreement
    • Assured synonyms, i.e. many names for the same or essentially the same type of tenancy; here are half a dozen confusable:
    • Assured (Absolute indefinite right to remain)
    • Sitting (Cannot be removed)
    • Regulated (by Rent Assessment Committee RAC) also Rent Acts (Maximum Fair rent) Order 1999.
    • Protected tenancies pre 1956
    • Controlled (via Rent Act 1977) and Rent Acts (Maximum Fair rent) Order 1999 influenced by case law BTE Ltd v Merseyside & Cheshire RAC (1991)
    • Rent act Tenancy (excluded Common Law Tenancies) and controlled rent levels, long term lets (secured tenancy), succession of up to 3 generations.
    • Secure Tenancy.
  • Default AST Post February 28 1997
    • abolition of s20 notices for new tenancies
    • s.20 retained for pre 280297 tenancies in post–280297 litigation.
  • Unknown tenancy start dates – no documents and no dates make it more difficult to establish what the tenancy is called. This requires detective work via previous: landlords; agents; tenants; utility companies establishing identity of consumers at set points in time and possibly any tenancies; property census forms; current tenant interviews; tenant date of birth; any actual or potential further succession(s) up to 3 generations (including same sex relationships); relatives; neighbours; solicitors and licensed conveyancers; Land Registry establishing ownership at key points in time.
  • Even with a start date this need not determine the type of tenancy nor whether it was properly set up, e.g. whether a s.20 notice was issued if required.

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About the author


Formerly a student living in a rented room my vision focused on excellence. Letting phenomenal student houses soon became more than a day job - more a way of life.

Continuing to look after our tenants I subsequently also founded what is widely recognised as a phenomenal student lettings agency.