Factsheet 2 - Letting Residential Property in the UK


     Letting Residential Property in the UK


Almost five million households rent their own homes in this country, of which 2.2 million rent from private sector landlords.  With steeply rising house prices in the UK, an increasing number of people are choosing to rent their own homes, and putting off a move into owner-occupation until later years.  Government now believe that the private rented sector (PRS) is key to easing Britain's current housing crisis, and in helping to develop new housing in both rural and urban areas.

Assured and Assured Shorthold Tenancies:

The private rented sector was in steep decline from the post-war period until the late 1980's.  The Housing Act 1988 brought an end to this period of decline with the introduction of a fair framework of Assured and Assured Shorthold Tenancies.  These types of tenancies now dominate the private rented sector (and parts of the public sector) and provide a fair framework of tenancies which gives tenants adequate protection against eviction and unfair rent increases without setting the balance of rights too steeply against the private landlord (as occurred in the previous Rent Acts).  The system of assured shorthold tenancies which applies, by default, to most private sector lettings is described in our Letting Factsheet No. 19.  Various minor changes were subsequently introduced by the Housing Act 1996 such as withdrawing the requirement for serving a section 20 notice on the tenant before granting an assured shorthold tenancy (see Letting Factsheet No. 22).

Statutory Forms:

There are certain statutory forms that are required to be used when dealing with assured and assured shorthold tenancies - these forms are described in our Letting Factsheet No. 29.

Housing Standards and Safety Regulations:

There are various regulations and standards which landlords must adhere to before a property can be let.

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