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Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats

Residential Tenants' rights

The law in England and Wales in respect to tenancies can be very confusing for lay people. Over the years Parliament had a lot of fun passing multiple statutory provisions in respect to different types of residential tenancies. Different terms such as 'lease', 'license' or 'tenancy agreement' are often used interchangeably and might confuse tenants as to their actual rights. To complicate matters further there are the different concepts of social renting or renting from a private landlord and different types of tenancies such as assured shorthold tenancy, non-assured tenancy, secure tenancy or protected tenancy as well as the distinction between periodic tenancies and fixed term tenancies.

Tenants' rights differ depending on when their lease was granted and what legislation was in force at the time. However beyond the jungle of (often wrongly quoted) legal jargon one thing is for sure. Landlords do not have superpowers that overwrite the law and tenants have more rights than they might be aware of. Here is a summary of key principles that apply to most people renting in Brighton and Hove.

Please note that the following webpages are intended as a first port of call and should not be seen as a replacement to formal legal advice.

Colourful houses in Kemptown, Brighton.


The basics of leases

Express and implied terms of leases

Property repairs, fitness for habitation

Rent, termination and deposits

Various links

Written by Beatrice Bass.