assured tenancy

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A form of tenancy under the Housing Act 1988 that is at a market rent but gives security of tenure. The premises may be furnished or unfurnished. This kind of tenancy replaces protected tenancies except those in existence before the Housing Act 1988 came into force. Former assured tenancies under the Housing Act 1980 (where different provisions applied) are converted into the new kind of assured tenancy.

To qualify as an assured tenancy, the premises must be let as a separate dwelling, within certain rateable value limits. There are certain exceptions, such as when the landlord lives in another part of the same premises. Under the Housing Act 1996, from 28 February 1997 all new residential tenancies are assured shorthold tenancies without security of tenure, unless a notice is specifically served stating that the parties are creating an assured tenancy.

The rent is an open market rent agreed between the landlord and tenant, and it is not registered. However, the landlord must give the tenant notice if he intends to increase the rent, and the tenant can then apply to a rent assessment committee if he thinks the increase is excessive. The rent assessment committee determines the rent at the current market value. There are limits on the frequency of rent increases.

The landlord can only regain possession on certain statutory grounds. These include: nonpayment of rent; that the landlord formerly lived in the dwelling and requires it again for his own use; that the tenant is a nuisance neighbour or may become a nuisance; and that alternative accommodation is available (the court has discretion in this last case).

When the tenant of an assured tenancy dies, his spouse has a right, in certain circumstances, to take over the tenancy as successor to the deceased tenant. An assured tenant cannot usually assign the tenancy without the landlord's consent. See also statutory periodic tenancy.

Subjects: Law.

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