Types of Tenure:

tenancy gives the tenant a legal interest in the land and property – in effect, legal ownership for the period of the tenancy. Tenancies can take several forms:

  • Rent Act or Regulated Tenancies – pre 
  • Assured Tenancies
  • Assured Shorthold Tenancies (now the default residential tenancy in England)

license agreement is different – it gives the “tenant” permission to occupy only. The tenant therefore gains no interest in the property or land, merely a consent from the landlord to occupy for a period of time.

The grant of a license does not create an estate in land and the licensee does not gain an interest in the property, purely permission to occupy it. 

Stays in Hotels, Hostels, Lodgings (letting a room in your own home) holiday lettings, employees of a business living on the premises, and some HMOs are on license agreements.

Sometimes landlords head the agreement as a licence when in fact, in law, the occupier has a legal tenancy. It’s the situation that counts, so if the occupier has exclusive possession, i.e., no other person, including the landlord has no regular access to their space, then it is a tenancy.

See: Street v Mountford


  1. I know this is an older post but please, could you answer a question?
    I live in a 3 bed house ( not shared), I pay monthly fixed rent, and I have a contract that says “licence agreement” and it’s for an undetermined time. Does it still qualify as licence agreement as I was told even if it says lencence agreement it could still be a tenancy because of the fixed rent and songle occupancy. My landlord threatens to evict because the contract says no children and I had a baby after 3 years of living in the house…
    Thank you

  2. IT sounds like a tenancy to me! As you are concerned (and should be with a landlord like that!) you should visit your local authority where they will have a Housing Advice centre. They will advise you and may be able to assist you into better accommodation, if that’s what you want. Your landlord cannot evict you, only a Judge in Court can evict you – which is going to be highly unlikely!! If he serves notice on you, stay put and seek advice.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here