Back to Basics - Assured Shorthold Tenancies

The ever-changing law of landlord and tenant can be a minefield to navigate, and it is often worth re-visiting the basics to ensure interests are protected correctly.

Tenancy status

Not all tenancies have assured shorthold status. We often get asked to review a tenancy that is assumed to be an assured shorthold tenancy, but in fact turns out to be something altogether different. So, what tenancies cannot be an assured shorthold tenancy? There are quite a few set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1988, some of which are as follows:

  • Any tenancy made prior to 15 January 1989
  • A tenancy granted after 1 April 1990 with an annual rent of more than £100,000
  • A tenancy for no rent
  • A tenancy granted after 1 April 1990 with an annual rent of £250 or less, or £1,000 or less in Greater London
  • 1954 Act business tenancies
  • Certain agricultural tenancies
  • Student lets mainly by educational institutions
  • Holiday lets
  • Tenancies where there is a resident landlord
  • Crown tenancies


It is also often assumed that assured shorthold tenancies must be a certain length. Whilst tenancies granted before 28 February 1997 had to be for a minimum term of 6 months, there is no minimum or maximum term for assured shorthold tenancies granted after that date. A term longer than 7 years is, however, subject to certain prescribed clauses and registration at the Land Registry, and will not have the protection of section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, or the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

In writing?

Any assured shorthold tenancy for term of more than 3 years must be made by deed but in most other cases, an assured shorthold tenancy does not have to be in writing.


A landlord has the right to possession at the end of the fixed term, (or if the term is less than 6 months, six months after the tenancy began), once 2 months’ notice is given. If a tenant remains in occupation after the expiry of the fixed term, either a contractual or a statutory periodic tenancy will arise.

Bate and Albon Solicitors can help you in respect of all aspects of property law including landlord and tenant work. If you require advice please contact Ricky Coleman or Alina de Heer