Dealing with Rent Act tenancies
Dealing with Rent Act tenancies

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dealing with Rent Act tenancies
  • How do I recognise a regulated tenancy?
  • What are the risks?
  • Can the tenant be evicted?

Regulated tenancies (also known as protected, statutory or fair rent tenancies) were the principal form of private sector tenancy of residential property granted under the Rent Act 1977 (RA 1977) before 15 January 1989. The Housing Act 1988 ended that form of tenancy for new tenants from that date. Now, the main or default form of residential tenancy is the assured shorthold. However, a significant number of regulated tenancies remain: if not correctly identified they can result in the buyer of an investment property paying far too much, and being unable to obtain vacant possession. As a general guide, a property with a sitting RA 1977 tenant is worth only around 50% of its vacant possession value.

Under a regulated tenancy:

  1. the landlord cannot evict the tenant without a possession order, which may only be granted in limited circumstances

  2. the tenant’s spouse or civil partner is entitled to succeed to the regulated tenancy following the death of the tenant (a family member who has been living in the home can take over as an assured tenant)

  3. either the landlord or the tenant can apply to the rent officer for a fair rent to be registered—once registered this is the maximum the landlord can charge until the rent is reviewed or cancelled

  4. even if a rent is not registered, the landlord