Different Types of Tenancy Agreements

There are a few different types of tenancy which you can encounter when looking at renting off campus.

Private rented accommodation

Most landlords/ letting agents use an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) which is the most common form of tenancy and gives you exclusive possession of the property.

If you are planning on moving into a shared property, your contract will make you responsible to your landlord in one of two ways: 

    1. Joint liability – If you sign the same contract as another person or a group of people and you agree to take the property at the same time; you will be jointly and severally liable. Each tenant is individually and collectively liable to pay the whole rent, instead of a sperate portion of it. You may agree between yourself to pay an equal or agreed share, but if one of your housemates is unable or unwilling to pay, the landlord is able to demand the rent from any or all of the other housemates and/or guarantors. 
    2. Individual liability – If you have a separate agreement between you and the landlord/letting agent, you are solely responsible to fulfil the obligations under the contract. If one of the housemates leave, the landlord/letting agent cannot ask you to cover their rent. You would only be liable for your own rent and/or any damage.

University halls of residence

You will have a licence to occupy which means you will have the right to occupy a specific room and common areas (i.e. bathroom/kitchen).

Private hall of residence

If you choose to rent from a private hall of residence, you will most likely have an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), you will most likely have an assured shorthold tenancy.

You should have individual liability as each tenant will have signed their own contract.


Normally, if you live with the owner (or a member of their family) and share the accommodation, you will be an excluded occupier. As an excluded occupier you have few rights. Please see an adviser if you wish to discuss this further.

Last Updated: 28th September 2023