There are several different types of tenancies in England and Wales with several different types of statutory regimes.
Historically tenancies were covered by the Rent Act 1977. These tenancies can no longer be created and are generally dying out. However, these tenancies provided a very high level of protection to tenants for life and benefitted from below market rents.
The vast majority of tenancies created today now fall under the Housing Act 1988. The Act applies where tenancies are created on or after 15 January 1989 and creates one of two types of tenancies. The tenancy was either an Assured Tenancy or an Assured Shorthold Tenancy if the landlord served a section 20 notice advising the tenant that his tenancy was NOT an Assured Tenancy. An Assured Tenancy is a tenancy for life, which means it is very difficult to evict a tenant, and a tenancy at a market rent. Assured Shorthold Tenancies are created, as stated above, on the service of the Section 20 Notice or those created after 28 February 1997. The vast majority of tenancies today are Assured Shorthold Tenancies which are tenancies at a market rent and permit the landlord to obtain possession much more easily.
Contractual Tenancies where the rent exceeds £100,000 per annum. These tenancies are not governed by any specific statute but are a contractual arrangement between the landlord and tenant.