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In a nutshell, to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy a let must:
- Be for a residential property
- Have a total annual rent above £250 and below £100,000. (If the agreement is less than 1 year in length then the figures are pro-rata)
- Not be a holiday let
- Have tenants that are people, not companies
- Not have a live-in landlord
If a tenancy doesn't meet these criteria then it will either not actually be a tenancy or will be dealt with under common law and consequently will have little of the security of tenure or other protections offered by tenancies that fall under the auspices of the various Housing Acts. However there is no accelerated possession procedure and common law tenants that are people (as opposed to corporate entities) will have protection under Consumer Contracts Regulations.