This is a question that gets asked sometimes. Its a bit of a tricky one becuase the answer is both yes and no.
Its no, because they don’t get special rights just BECAUSE they have been there a long time.
In that your rights don’t change suddenly from ‘ordinary rights’ to ‘super special rights’ when you have been in a property for three years, or seven years, or whatever.
It doesn’t work like that.
But people who have been living in a property for a long time, for example elderly people in rented homes, do often HAVE special rights, and they have them because they have been there a long time.
Or to put it another way, they have special rights because the law when they moved in, was different. And the law at the time the tenancy starts generally governs how it works for its lifetime.
So tenants who moved in before 15 January 1989 have ‘protected tenancies’ which makes them very difficult to evict. Unless they suddenly stop paying all their rent. Those lucky tenants retain all the rights that the law gave them in (say) 1985 when their tenancy began.
Tenants who moved in between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997 may also have greater rights, if the landlord or agent did not set the tenancy up properly at the start. So if instead of being created as assured shorthold tenancies the tenancy was created as an assured tenancy, where landlords cannot use section 21, again, they are harder to evict.
Again, those rights attached to their tenancy when it was created and stay with it. But those rights were only available in the past. Tenants, new tenants, don’t get them any more. So its only the tenants who have been living in their properties a long time, who will have them.
Is that clear?