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How Residential Tenancies Work

Generally, residential properties are let on Assured Shorthold tenancies, a form of tenancy introduced by the Housing Act 1988.

An Assured Shorthold tenancy is a tenancy which offers the landlord the right to repossess the property at the end of the tenancy and is applicable to either furnished or unfurnished lettings. It has the following important features: –

Length of tenancy

The tenancy can be for any length but generally we let properties for a minimum of six months.

Notice to Quit

The landlord must serve at least two months’ notice (expiring at the end of a period of the tenancy) to bring the tenancy to an end. In certain circumstances a greater period of notice may be necessary. The tenant must serve one month’s notice unless vacating at the end of the initial fixed term. The tenancy cannot be terminated by either the landlord or the tenant before the end of the initial fixed term, unless the tenant is in breach for example for non-payment of rent.

Continuation of tenancy

When the initial fixed term of the tenancy comes to an end, the tenants may stay on in the property if the landlord has not served notice. The landlord may at any time after the fixed term serve two months’ notice (or longer in certain cases) to recover possession, but the agreement can continue indefinitely if it suits both parties.


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