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See the latest information and advice in Exeter. We are closely monitoring the situation and working with the government and NHS, who are well prepared to deal with this virus.

Private tenants handbook

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6. What type of tenancy do I have?

It is important to understand what type of tenancy you have as different types of tenancies give you different rights and obligations. It is advisable to always ask for a written agreement.

Assured Shorthold Tenancies

This is the most common form of private rented sector tenancy. Most new tenancies made after 28 February 1997 are automatically this type. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy will have the following:

  • the property you rent is with a private individual or company
  • the tenancy started on or after 15 January 1989
  • the property is your only or main home
  • your landlord doesn’t live in the property
  • no notice was served by the landlord stating that it was not an assured shorthold

Assured tenancies

Private rented sector tenancies between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997 may be assured only i.e. not subject to the shorthold ground for possession. You will have increased protection from eviction with this type of agreement. From the 28 February 1997 the landlord will have to serve a notice on you saying that it was not a shorthold.

Regulated tenancies

Tenancies starting before 15 January 1989 may be regulated. You’ll have increased protection from eviction

Fixed-term tenancies

A tenancy may be for a fixed-term, i.e. which lasts for a fixed number of months or years as set out in your tenancy agreement.

Periodic tenancies

Periodic tenancies run indefinitely from one rent period to the next, this is also known as a rolling tenancy. A periodic tenancy may be created when a fixed term expires and you remain in the property without signing a new agreement.


A licence is permission to stay in a property for a period of time. You have less protection with a licence than a tenancy and depending on the type of licence you can be asked to leave at short notice.


More information is available in the Tenants Handbook.