This is something that gets asked a lot and it looks like it is a topic that get searched for a lot. So here is the answer.
No. You don’t get any extra rights if you live in a property for a long time.
I think the reason why some people think this is that some longstanding tenants HAVE greater rights. However this is not BECAUSE they have lived in the property a long time.
The reason why some tenants have greater rights is that they moved into their property before 15 January 1989. And the reason for that is that before 15 January 1989 the Rent Act 1977 applied and this gave tenants greater rights. Tenants who moved in at that time still have those rights, but ONLY if they moved in before the deadline of 15 January 1989.
On 15 January the Housing Act 1988 came into force and since then all new tenancies have been assured or assured shorthold tenancies. However, the tenancies which pre-dated that still retain all their rights under the Rent Act:
- They can register for a ‘fair rent’ which will normally be lower (often significantly lower) than a market rent
- They have greater long term security of tenure and so are harder to evict, and
- They have the right to pass the tenancy on to their spouse or (in some circumstances) family members after they die (this is called succession).
This type of tenancy is known as a protected or regulated (or maybe a protected regulated) tenancy. They are a dwindling type of tenancy as no new ones have been created for over 30 years and inevitably as tenants die or (occasionally) move out – the pool of protected tenancies in existence will grow less.
However, if you do not already have a protected tenancy, then unless the law is changed, for example by the forthcoming Renters Reform Bill, your rights as a tenant will not change however long you live in the property.