A separate apartment can also be two units that are rented together for use as a house. Consumer law may provide for a remedy if the provisions of a rental agreement are “abusive”, i.e. when unfair commercial practices have been used by a lessor or an intermediary. From 28 February 1997, most leases in the private sector or in housing companies are automatically insured with empty leases, unless the lessor decides to grant a guaranteed lease.  This is a reversal of the previous situation, in which leases were automatically guaranteed, unless the landlord took the right steps to create a secure void.  If there are tenants, only one must be inhabited to maintain the promised lease. If a lease is occupied by a spouse or life partner who is the sole tenant, and that tenant leaves while the non-tenant or non-tenant spouse remains a life partner, the insured tenancy status is maintained.  However, there are certain circumstances in which the new lease cannot be a secured short-term lease agreement and must be a secured lease (for more information, see Where the lease cannot be AST.  The majority of leases entered into on or after January 15, 1989 are secure or secure short-term leases. Secure short-term rentals are a type of secure lease that must meet all the conditions of a secured lease and do not fall under one of the exceptions to a secured lease agreement. You can find information on the particulars of secure short-term rental agreements in the section on Assured Shorthold Tenancies….