No – the vast majority of tenancies today will be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) but not all tenancies are ASTs. ASTs are now the ‘default’ type of tenancy. If a property is let without a written agreement, which is most unwise, then that too will normally be an AST. An AST can be for any term (the rule requiring them to be for a minimum term of six months was abolished by section 96 of the Housing Act 1996), although in fact the vast majority of tenancies are for terms of at least six months.

The main benefit of ASTs for landlords is that they can recover possession of the property without needing a reason, provided any fixed term has expired and the proper form of notice has been properly served. The notice is known as a section 21 notice, as the landlord’s right to recover possession and the notice procedure is set out in section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

There are many instances when we could not and would not grant an AST e.g. letting a property to a company or a landlord letting part of the property they live in – typically contractual common law tenancy

Further Reading

Resident Landlord? – Things to consider before granting or agreeing to a tenancy {Jungle Property blog article}

Landlord Handbook – Section 3.1

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