Housing Association tenancies
Not all housing association tenants have the same protection from eviction. The type of tenancy agreement you have will affect many of your rights, including how and when the housing association can evict you, whether you can pass your tenancy on and whether you have the right to buy.
Housing associations provide secure, assured, assured shorthold and starter tenancies or they can apply to the courts to demote your tenancy. They should give you a written tenancy agreement, which says clearly what type of tenancy you have, and outlines your rights and responsibilities.
For more information on your Housing Association tenancy you should contact your Housing Association directly.
Regulated tenants have stronger rights against eviction than most other private tenants. You are likely to be a regulated tenant if:
- you moved in before 15 January 1989 and
- you pay rent to a private landlord and
- you have control over your home so that your landlord and other people cannot come in whenever they want to and
- your landlord does not live in the same building as you and
- you do not receive board or other services such as cleaning
A regulated tenant has the right to pay a 'fair rent' set out by a rent officer or rent assessment committee. It sets the maximum that your landlord can charge and can normally only be increased once every two years.
A regulated tenant also has strong rights against eviction. The landlord can only evict you if your tenancy is at a statutory stage and not a contractual one and the grounds for eviction are very specific. Since there are very few of these tenancies around it is best to seek legal advice if you think you have a regulated tenancy.
Occupiers with basic protection
You are likely to be an occupier with basic protection if:
- you live in the same building as your landlord but you do not share living accommodation with your landlord or
- you live in a student hall of residence or
- you pay a very low rent or a very high rent
It can be difficult to work out if you are an occupier with basic protection. Get advice if you are not sure of your status. If you are an occupier with basic protection you have very few tenancy rights. It is important to remember how easy it is for your landlord to evict you. Because of this, it may be difficult for you to get repairs done or challenge rent increases.
Your landlord need only to give you written notice that they want you to leave. The length of the notice will depend on how often you pay rent but is usually not less than 4 weeks. As long as the notice is given correctly the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order and you will have to leave when the court says so. If your agreement was for a set period (fixed term) then the landlord does not have to serve a notice but can go directly to the court for possession.
You are likely to be an excluded occupier if:
- you share accommodation with your landlord or
- you live in the same building as your landlord and share accommodation with a member of your landlord's family or
- you are living in your accommodation for a holiday or
- you do not pay any rent for your accommodation
It can be difficult to work out if you are an excluded occupier. Get advice if you are not sure of your status. If you are an excluded occupier you have very few tenancy rights.
As an excluded occupier your only right is to stay until your landlord asks you to go or for as long as your written agreement says. Your landlord can evict you by giving you reasonable notice (which can be verbal) and doesn't need a court order. Reasonable notice usually means one rent period which if you pay weekly will be only one week.