If you are a tenant and you first moved into your property before 15 January 1989 – then you are in a fortunate position. You will have what is known as a ‘protected tenancy’ under the Rent Act 1977.
This may also be the case if you have inherited your rented property from a protected tenant – normally, this will only be the case if you were a spouse or civil partner of a protected tenant.
Protected tenants are very fortunate as:
- Your rent can be limited if you apply for a ‘fair rent’
- You have strong ‘security of tenure’, which means that provided you pay your rent promptly, it is very difficult (and sometimes impossible) for your landlord to evict you, and
- Your spouse or family may be able to inherit your tenancy from you after you die.
The main problem with protected tenancies is that very few people understand them and how they work!
The Rent Act was superseded by the Housing Act 1988, which created assured shorthold tenancies, so most people assume that all tenancies operate under the AST rules.
However, this is not the case! Protected tenancies operate under a different system with different rules.
Our article on protected tenancies
if you are a protected tenant and want to understand the rules which apply to your tenancy, we have a special detailed article, “Protected Tenancies under the Rent Act 1977”.
This is one of our premium articles and can be purchased for £15. It covers most issues you will need to know about, including
- What happens if you sign a new ‘AST’ tenancy agreement form
- How the fair rent regime works,
- The circumstances under which your landlord can evict you, and
- The succession rules (ie who is entitled to inherit your tenancy after you die).
The article ends with some examples of typical problem situations which arise.