Going Periodic: What Happens When a Tenancy’s Fixed Term Ends?

This post explains everything about periodic tenancies, rolling tenancy contracts, renewals, and what to do when your AST’s minimum (fixed) term is about to expire!

But first:

When a landlord rents out a property to a tenant, there will usually be a tenancy agreement that specifies a period of time which the tenancy will last for. 

This period of time is the ‘term’ of the tenancy. Where the term is set out in the tenancy agreement, it is usual to refer to the agreement as ‘fixed term’, as it will be for a fixed period of time. This will normally be for six months or a year. Less commonly, it can be for other periods of time.

But what happens when this period of time ends? Let’s go through the different scenarios. 

What Happens When a Contract’s Minimum Term Ends

This will depend on whether the tenants have moved out or not. Let’s look at both cases.

1. If the Tenants Have Moved out

If the tenants move out at the end of the fixed term, the tenancy ends. It will no longer exist. This is under a rule quaintly known by lawyers as ‘effluxion of time’. 

 

So, if the tenants have moved out by that date, then that is the end of it. The tenants no longer have any liability under the tenancy and the landlord no longer has any right to charge rent.

 

Landlords often get upset about this if the tenants have moved out without giving them any notice. Sometimes they may even put in their tenancy agreement a clause requiring the tenant to give notice if they want to leave at the end of the fixed term and providing for them to pay ‘rent in lieu of notice’ if they don’t.

 

Sadly (for the landlords) these clauses will almost certainly be void under the Unfair Contract Terms regulations (now part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015).

 

The tenant only signed up for a specific period of time.  Any clause forcing him to stay longer or attempting to make him liable for continuing rent if he has moved out will be considered ‘unfair’ and unenforceable.

2. If the Tenants Remain in Occupation

The situation is different if the tenants remain living at the property.  Although, save where there is a contractual periodic tenancy set up (see below on this), the tenancy will still end at midnight on the last day of the fixed term. 

 

If the tenants remain in occupation, then in most cases, if no new fixed term tenancy or ‘renewal’ has been signed, then as soon as the fixed term tenancy has ended, a new ‘periodic’ tenancy will be created automatically in its place. 

 

Unless or until a new fixed term tenancy or ‘renewal’ document is signed, the tenancy will then continue on this periodic basis.

 

There is nothing wrong with this. Some tenancies have run on for years on a periodic basis. You don’t HAVE to give tenants a new fixed term or renewal

 

Fixed terms are often preferable as they give both landlord and tenant more security. Plus, they give landlords an opportunity to increase the rent. Sometimes, however, such as if either the landlord or the tenant are uncertain of their plans, it may be better to let the tenancy run on as a periodic, as this is more flexible. 

 

The landlord may also prefer not to be tied down to a long fixed term if they are unhappy about the behaviour of their tenant and are only willing to allow them to remain if they behave themselves on a month by month basis.

 

Whether you allow the tenancy to run on as a periodic or insist on a new fixed term really depends on what you want and what is best under the circumstances.

 

Incidentally, letting agents are often keen for tenancies to be renewed as this will trigger their entitlement to a ‘renewal’ fee. Don’t let them over-persuade you. If the circumstances of your tenancy are that the more flexible periodic tenancy is preferable, then they should accept this. They do not have an absolute right to a renewal fee – however much they may want it!

How are Periodic Tenancies Created?

So if the tenants remain in the property and no renewal is signed, there will be a periodic tenancy. How are these created? There are basically three options:

  1. If the tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy
  2. If the tenancy is a ‘common law’ unregulated tenancy
  3. If the tenancy agreement provides for a contractual periodic tenancy

Let’s take a look at these in turn.

1.  Statutory Periodic Tenancy

If the tenancy Is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, then when the minimum term expires, the tenancy will continue due to statute.

Of the three, this is the most common situation. The new tenancy will arise because section 5 of the Housing Act 1988 says it will.

The Housing Act 1988 is the act which set up and regulates assured and assured shorthold tenancies. Section 5 says that if the tenant remains in occupation after the end of the fixed term, then a new ‘periodic’ tenancy will be automatically created. This new periodic tenancy will:

  • Start immediately after the fixed term ends
  • Be deemed to be between the same people who were the landlord and tenant at the time the fixed term ends
  • Be in respect of the same premises
  • Be ‘periodic’ which means it will run from period to period – normally monthly or weekly (see more on this below)
  • Save for this, it will be under the same terms and conditions as the preceding fixed term tenancy

This sort of periodic tenancy is known as a ‘statutory’ periodic tenancy – because it was created by statute, i.e. section 5 of the Housing Act 1988.

In most cases, the period will be monthly or weekly, depending on how the rent is payable under the terms of the tenancy agreement. However, if the last payment of rent was different – for example if the tenant paid all the rent up front by one payment for six months’ worth of rent – then the period of the tenancy will reflect this last payment (so in our example it will be a six month periodic tenancy).

Most tenancies today are assured shorthold tenancies, so in most situations where tenants stay on after the end of the fixed term, they will have a statutory periodic tenancy.

2.  ‘Common Law’ Unregulated Tenancy

Some tenancies fall outside the statutory code set up by the Housing Act 1988. In the main these are:

  • Tenancies where the landlord is a resident landlord as he lives in the same building (see more on this below)
  • Tenancies where the tenant is a limited company, or
  • If the rent is either:
    • more than £100,000 pa, or
    • less than £750 pa (or £1,500 pa in Greater London)

You will find a full list in Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1988.

So far as resident landlords are concerned, this will normally be where someone is renting out some sort of granny annex of ‘garden flat’. It will not apply to situations where the landlord owns two or more properties in a purpose-built block of flats and rents one and lives in another – here the rented properties will be ASTs. If the landlord is renting a room to a lodger, this will normally not be a tenancy at all (see more about this in my Lodger Landlord website).

So, what happens if a tenant stays on after the end of the fixed term in a common law tenancy? Section 5 will not apply as this is not an AST. Generally, however, the law will imply a periodic tenancy where the tenant pays and the landlord accepts rent.

Under section 54(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925 it is not necessary to have a formal written tenancy agreement deed if a tenant is living in a property and paying rent where there is a fixed term of 3 years or less. A new tenancy will be created automatically. 

The only circumstances where it will not be created will be if the tenant fails to pay rent or the landlord refuses to accept it. Generally, the landlord will be looking to recover possession of the property here, in which case note that they will still need to get a possession order through the courts (my Landlord Law Eviction guide has instructions on how to do this). 

Download a template of OpenRent's Free AST for assured shorthold tenancies in the UK.

3.  The Tenancy Agreement Provides for a Contractual Periodic Tenancy

The third kind of case that creates a periodic tenancy is ‘contractual periodic tenancy’. These are not common and only exist if the tenancy agreement signed by the tenant specifically provides for them.

When this is done, the tenancy does not actually end at all, but continues (assuming the tenants don’t move out) on a periodic basis, as set out in the agreement. Normally this will be for a monthly periodic tenancy.

One of the advantages of contractual periodic tenancies is that you can specify what the period of your periodic tenancy will be so this creates certainty.  

What Won’t Happen

It’s probably worth mentioning, to conclude this article, that where someone has been living in a property as a tenant, they will not turn into a ‘squatter’ if they remain in the property after the fixed term has ended. 

They will stay a tenant and will be entitled to remain in the property until evicted through the courts. 

Another worry landlords have is that if tenants stay in the property a long time, they will suddenly acquire extra rights, such the right to buy the property. This won’t happen, either.

Landlords will almost always be entitled to evict tenants who remain living in the property after the fixed term has ended. The only circumstances where this is not the case is where the tenant has a protected tenancy under the Rent Act 1977. But no Rent Act protected tenancies have been (or can be) created since January 1989, so this is not going to happen with a more recent tenancy.

In conclusion

In the vast majority of cases where a tenant stays on after the end of the fixed term where no new agreement has been signed, he will continue to have a tenancy – a periodic tenancy  Indeed, he will also have a tenancy agreement as the terms of the preceding tenancy agreement will continue to apply.

However, there is nothing to fear about periodic tenancies and there are times when allowing a tenancy to ‘run on’ as a periodic is a good idea  Hopefully this article helped you understand the issues and how the rules work.


OpenRent Supplemental: What happens when only one tenant wants to leave a joint tenancy agreement?

In a joint tenancy, all tenants are joint and severally liable for the duties of the tenancy (e.g. paying the rent) but also the privileges (e.g. enjoying access to the whole of the property).

As long as they follow the terms set out in the contract, any tenant in a joint tenancy can give notice to leave the property. If the contract says 2 month’s notice is required, then any tenant can give this notice and move out two months later.

At this point, the tenancy will have ended for all parties unless the tenancy agreement says otherwise. If the other tenants remain and keep paying the same rent, it won’t simply be business as usual, since the tenancy that previously existed, along with its terms, will have been terminated.

It will be in everyone’s interest to come to a new agreement as soon as possible. Ideally, the remaining tenants and landlord will have made arrangements during the notice period and signed a new tenancy agreement to start as soon as the old one ends.

You can download OpenRent’s Free joint tenancy agreement here.


Tessa Shepperson

Tessa Shepperson Landlord Law Blog Author

Tessa is a specialist landlord & tenant lawyer. More of her writings can be found on the Landlord Law Blog. She also runs the popular Landlord Law online service. The last section, OpenRent Supplemental, is not by Tessa Shepperson. 

Notable Replies

  1. Alex29 says:

    Hi, I was reading this post, which if I understand it well it can benefit me so much. I am a tenant and my assured shorthold tenancy agreement is coming to an end on the first week of March. Today I visited a new property which I am likely to rent it very soon. My contract says I should give 2 months notice prior to the end of the fixed term or 1 month notice in the event of becoming periodic tenancy.

    Is any risk of losing my deposit or part of it for giving 1 month notice only because the contract is due to expire in 2/3 weeks? Thank you.

  2. George says:

    Hi Alex,

    The tenancy can come to an end at any point where both you and the landlord are on the same page and agree to this.

    Where the tenancy is coming to an end by way of the mutual break clause in the contract, then the stipulated notice period is what’s required. The break clause is viewable in section 11 of our AST.

    George

  3. Sam says:

    Hi Alex, also worth noting that if you don’t come to an agreement with the landlord, then you will be liable to pay the rent for the duration of the fixed term, as the tenancy will not have been terminated.

    If you do not pay the rent, then the landlord will be able to take unpaid rent from your deposit.

    Sam

  4. Alex29 says:

    Thanks a lot Sam for your reply. My plan is to give one month notice the day after my contract expires (on the 1st March). If i give my notice now, it has to be 2 months. I want to leave as soon as possible, so it benefits me to give notice for a month only. I am just scared that they might call me and put pressure on me to renew the contract, and I want to refuse that. I have been with them for 5 years.

    Regards,

    Alex

  5. Sam says:

    Oh sorry Alex I think I misunderstood your situation.

    If your fixed term ends on 1st March, then you can usually move out on the last day of the tenancy, without giving any notice, as described in the original post here.

    If you stay even one day longer, the the contract will become a periodic tenancy and you will have to give notice one month’s to terminate it.

    As I understand from what Tessa wrote, clauses demanding the tenant has to give notice if moving out on the last day of the fixed term will be seen as unfair clauses. That’s Tessa’s point in the post.

    In this case, the tenancy would end on the last day of the fixed term, they would need to return your deposit within 10 days. Because the tenancy would be terminated and you would have vacated the property, they would not be able to charge you rent after 1st March.

    It is always best to communicate your plans with the landlord and not to just spring this upon them! We always recommend mutual agreements wherever possible, as these work best for both parties.

    Hope that helps!

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174 Replies to “Going Periodic: What Happens When a Tenancy’s Fixed Term Ends?”

  1. I have on going contract and have given my tenants 28 days notice in October last yrs 28 days notice Feb this yr and 28 days notice April this yrs I’ve also served section 21 eviction order to be out by 31 may what do I do if their still there and where do I go from there

  2. You need to be sure that your section 21 is correctly drafted first and that you have complied with all the pre-requisites required by law. Otherwise, it will be unenforceable.

    If the tenant fails to move out, your only option is to bring a claim for possession through the courts. If you try to evict in any other way this is unlawful.

    You can read about my service here: http://landlordlawinfo.co.uk/eviction/

  3. i have got a assured six months shorthold tenany ware the time is up now they have now signed again for another 12 months on the form can any one back out before the 12 months is up

    1. I’m quite sure if you give 28 \ months notice to quit,that would be lawful.your tenancy would then end of you would move out.
      Notice,gives the landlord time to re_,let from the day you move out.

  4. I am a tenant of a housing association. What are my rights regarding buying my flat. I have lived for over 40 years. My wife and I are pensioners.

  5. Is the rent set in stone that it should be every 4 weeks or can the landlord refuse a monthly payment ?? I am struggling to pay every 4weeks as it can be a double payment that month ?

    1. Hi Penny,

      If your minimum term expires and your tenancy becomes periodic, then you will need to continue to pay over the same period as your last payment of the minimum term. I.e. if you paid monthly all the way through your assured shorthold tenancy, and then the tenancy becomes a statutory periodic tenancy, then you will need to continue to pay monthly now that it is a periodic tenancy.

      As Tessa writes:

      In most cases, the period will be monthly or weekly, depending on how the rent is payable under the terms of the tenancy agreement. However, if the last payment of rent was different – for example if the tenant paid all the rent up front by one payment for six months’ worth of rent – then the period of the tenancy will reflect this last payment (so in our example it will be a six month periodic tenancy).

      The answer will most likely be in your contract!

  6. I rent out my flat and my mortgage company have stipulated that I must have a short term tenancy agreement in place either for 6 months or a year with the tenant. I always require the tenant to sign a 6 months lease at the start of their new tenancy & then offer them a 12 months agreement once the 6 months have come to an end. This does cost me money but as it is a stipulation with my mortgage company that they will only allow me to rent out my property with this in place I have no alternative.

  7. Hi Tessa,

    My Tenant has left my property. The tenancy agreement states a deposit is payable but there is also a separate signed agreement stating that the tenant paid 2 months rent only in advanced and none of the rent paid during the tenancy was for a deposit as this was paid by the housing department. The tenant is now claiming she paid a deposit. What do you think?

    Regards

    Mike

  8. Thanks for your article which is very useful. My tenant is likely to stay a few more months until his visa ends, which might make it challenging to find new tenants in the winter. Could you clarify if I could “force” my tenant to move out if he can’t sign a new fixed term(a year) tenancy?

    1. Hi John, if the fixed term has ended then the only way you can ask him to leave is by serving a section 21 notice, however that has to be a minimum of two months so might not benefit you too much and if he doesn’t leave after two months and decided to stay another month then you would have to spend two months going through a court process. I work for a letting agent and most months of the year we are letting properties easy so providing the flat is in good order and the price is right, you will relet your flat. Good luck

  9. I will have rented my flat for 4 years in November. My Tenancy has been on going. I have Not had to sign anything. I have had a rent rise which I can just manage. I am a 60 year old Lady with No Private Pension and Now told I will not get my state Pension until 66 I have No savings I am worried about the future?

  10. My tenant is currently on a periodic agreement and is not paying rent on time as well as making excuses when I tell him I need to visit the property. I need to increase the rent can I do this?

  11. Hi Tessa

    In my AST it states the following:
    “The Term shall be from x date to x date and then monthly periodic….
    The “Term” is to include any periodic tenancy following the fixed term.”

    The agent asked if I would like to renew the contract, but I have requested to continue to monthly periodic as stated in the contract. The agent said it is just a standard thing they put in all the contracts and the landlord has to approve for that to go forward. Is this correct? Do they have a right to decline this?

    Thank you

    1. You (the tenant) can’t be forced to renew your tenancy. You currently have a valid tenancy. The only option is for the agent to either accept this or to evict you. If you are a good tenant and pay your rent on time the landlord is unlikely to agree to evict you as it will cost him/her a ton of money. The agent just wants to maximise their commission.

  12. I have to say that in the vast majority of cases I’ve found the periodic tenancy arrangement, following a six month AST, to be extremely useful. No tenant has ever asked me for another fixed term tenancy and the periodic tenancy means no extra paperwork for me, while the conditions remain the same as before so everybody knows what to do. I have one tenant with a periodic tenancy now lasting more than 10 years. He’s happy with the arrangement and so am I.

  13. I have a tenant who has now left. He was on a fixed six month AST followed by 11 months periodic. Should I have provided the prescribed information again once the periodic tenancy started. I protected his deposit late (28 days after the deadline) and now he is claiming his compensation. Does he have the right to claim it twice, once or the AST and once for the periodic?

  14. We have been tenants since May 2006 and the rent is up to date. Our landlord sent us a section 21 notice and wants possession on the 14th August. We had to contact him as my wife has been undergoing tests for a serious liver complaint and he has not been too accommodating. He will not take action for possession as we have agreed to move by the end of August.
    The landlord has declined to inform us why he wants us out and taken an aggressive stand even though we have a long term and harmonious relationship with his office.
    Should we have been given the right to acquire the property.

  15. Hi

    I am a landlord and I got a letting agent to only collect rent from tenants for a 12 months term. This has come to an end and the tenant wants to stay in the property and are happy to deal directly with me. The letting agents informs me there is a charge of £1400 if the tenants continue to occupy the property. I have paid them £120 for a year and do not want to continue with them. What is the right way not paying for this?

    1. Right to buy only applies to council properties, not privately owned properties. Section 21 is known as the ‘no fault’ eviction as it can be used for any reason a landlord may want to regain his/her property. You must be given at least 2 month’s notice.

    2. Read your agency agreement and take professional advice if necessary as the terms may be deemed to be unfair and therefore unenforceable.

      1. By that I mean this query from Dorothy…

        Hi

        I am a landlord and I got a letting agent to only collect rent from tenants for a 12 months term. This has come to an end and the tenant wants to stay in the property and are happy to deal directly with me. The letting agents informs me there is a charge of £1400 if the tenants continue to occupy the property. I have paid them £120 for a year and do not want to continue with them. What is the right way not paying for this?

        1. Hi – so the answer here will be determined by the terms of the agreement Dorothy signed with the agent.

          The best solution to this is not to use letting agents that tie you in for renewal or ongoing tenant-find fees!

    3. I have just read in this column that an agent can ask for a renewal fee, however, cannot demand a fee from you, so you have a right not to give the agent any fee for renewal of a tenancy

  16. I would be careful about the notice period on fixed term contracts being an unfair clause. I thought the same but was ruled against. I basically argued the same as above. Here is a snippet of the judgement. I guess they can add any special clauses they want.

    The Tenant asserts that she did not have to give notice if the tenancy was going to end
    on the Fixed Term end date.
    10. The Office of Trading Guidance does indeed stipulate that a Tenant is not obliged to
    give notice to terminate the tenancy at the end of the Fixed Term; however this
    Guidance only applies to standard clauses in a contract. Special Clauses fall outside the
    Guidance and it may have been prudent of the Landlord/Agent to explain this to the
    Tenant when enquiring of her intentions in various letters.
    11. However I am satisfied by the Special Clause 8.1 in the Tenancy Agreement, signed
    and agreed to by the Tenant, that the Tenant was obliged to provide the requisite notice
    and she therefore is liable

  17. I am currently in a 12 month AST with 6 month break clause followed by 2 months notice by either party which is about to expire. When the agreement reverts to periodical will the 2 months notice still apply or will it be 1 month

  18. Hi..
    I have rented a room in my house to a student on a periodic tenancy month to month basis.
    She signed the first month and paid first month . The 2nd month was week late , no agreement was signed for the second month. The third month was due 27th Oct but now paid yet and again no monthly contract signed for this month.
    She has not been a good tenant, I would come home to face groups of students in my house drinking alcohol late in the night and she has guys staying over nigh In my house . I basically want her out .
    Can I end this tenancy? As she has not signed the contract this month or also not paid yet? Does she need to sign each month as it is a month to month periodic contract?

    JG

    1. Hi John, it really depends on exactly what kind of contract you originally signed! If she’s a lodger (i.e. if you also live in the property as your home) then the process would be different to if you signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), or another kind of short-term agreement. Lodgers can generally be asked to leave with ‘reasonable notice’ and will not have the same right to stay as tenants who signed an AST.

  19. Hi,
    I have a tennant who says he is a student and he has a six month fixed term agreement to rent a room in the property and use the shared facilities.
    For the past few months he has paid his rent very late, usually 13 days late.
    He is very condescending about the property and often has a partner staying with him for days at a time.
    The other tenants always pay on time and do not cause any trouble.
    Can I end his contract if I give him 2 months notice?
    He made out he wanted to leave, but now is asking to stay.

    1. Hi Raymond. In an AST, you can’t serve a section 21 notice within the first 4 months (with the earliest they could be made to leave being 6 months in. If the fixed term has expired, then yes you’re usually free to serve a notice to quit.

  20. I have an ast with a six month notice as it was for a fixed trrm of 15 years it ended 4 years ago do all the same terms apply including the six months notice now that it is a periodic tenancy?

    1. Hi Ben – yes the notice period usually applies only after the fixed term has expired. So if the notice period says 6 months, then the landord/tenant will have to give 6 months’ notice if they wanted to leave/reclaim the property.

  21. Hi, I am planning on moving but haven’t signed anything since the minimum 6 month contract nearly 3 years ago, do I have to give notice to my Landlord if I am moving. I will obviously tell him I have moved but do I legally have to give him a notice period.
    Thanks

  22. My 1 year fixed term AST ended a week ago. The agency contacted me a day after the contract ended saying the landlord is offering a new fixed contract of 1 year with a 25£ raise of the rent. He also said that although the renewal date has passed, we could get it done ASAP as it was only up few days ago. We obviously would like to be on a periodic tenancy for at least this month. Can they make the new contract start from a past date? Without even giving a notice of the rent raise? How do I know if I’m in a periodic tenancy at the moment?

  23. Landlord/agency want to renew our AST ended few days ago, to a new fixed term AST of 1 year with 2 months break clause. Does this mean we can leave whenever we want as long as we give a 2 months notice? I read somewhere that many AST have an initial 6 months where you can’t move out, even with a 2 months break clause. We don’t have the new contract as we didn’t give an answer yet, but the agency wants us to pay the renewal fee before we can have the contract.
    We might agree to having a 2 months notice, if there are no other bounding clauses, but we want to read the contract first before we pay the fee. What do you suggest us to do? We’ve already discussed a lot with the agent to get some flexibility on the notice period, as they didn’t even want to give us any kind of break clause at first.

  24. My partner and I were told on the 22 of November a month before the end of our fixed term contract (22nd of December) that we would not be given a new fixed term contract and instead would go onto a periodic contract. We found a property withinn a few days but were told that as we had not given a month’s notice before the end of our tenancy (which we were not able to because of the short notice we were given) that we would have to pay rent until the 21st of January (at a higher price than our fixed contract too). Do we have grounds to leave by the end of our tenancy and refuse to pay for the two months extra rent on a rolling contract we did not agree to?

  25. What a problem ? tenant has 6 month AST then is moved onto rolling contract by letting agents , 2 years later gives 1month notice to leave paying rent as required (ok so far) , informs council he left the property before the end of the notice period and now as landlord i have been charged for those days of council tax AFTER THE TENANT LEFT even though tenant still had a key and access to the property. The council just say pay up unless the original AST had a continuation clause written in !!

  26. Hi

    My tenant is now on a periodic contract, her rent is due on the 1st of the month, she gave me a month’s notice on 8th December. Does her tenancy end on 8th January or the end of January. I’ve been told the end of January.
    Can someone please clarify this the open rent agreement states – sec. 11.2 the tenant giving written notice of at least one month and expiring on the last day of a period of the tenancy. What does this mean?
    Need advice please

  27. My tenancy agreement ended Nov 30th 2017, my landlord has written to the letting a agancy stating he no longer wishing to go through them and to return my deposit, I have also confirmed this in writing, we have signed a new agreement ourselves as they didn’t manage the property it was just introductory, they are asking for us to sign a form that is an addition to the original agreement and no doubt will want some form of payment, how do I get my deposit back.
    Thanks CH

  28. Hi, Claire I really need help because it seems that for my problem everyone has a different answer. I have been living in a flat for a year and 7 months already. I started with an Assured Short Hold Tenancy for six months and after this ended, none of the parties did nothing when ended, I mean we did not renew the contract but we continue paying religiously each month. Now we want to move and give to the landlord one month notice as we were in a Periodic Tenancy Agreement, but landlord is refusing to accept due to a clause that was in the original fixed term “If either party wishes to determine this agreement on 10th May 2016 or at any time later after 10th May 2016 and gives to the other not less than TWO MONTHS WRITTEN NOTICE of that wish and pays the Rent and observes and performs the obligations on his part up to the expiry of that notice expiring on 10th May 2016 then on expiry of that notice the Term is to cesase and determine but the Landlord´s rights against the tenan for earlier breches of the terms of this agreement shall remain in force”. the guy wants to keep my deposit. Could someone be so kind to tell me who is right?. I can´t pay 2 places at the same time just because he is trying to force me to stay here longer.

  29. thank you for your useful site and clear explanations. There is one scenario that would be great to know. What happens if you are in an Joint and several Assured short hold tenancy with a partner. At the end of the tenancy one of you notify the agent that you do not want to remain and will be leaving the property at the end of the contracted time, but the other partner informs them they want to stay on. Does the contract end and a new one issued to the person staying on? This has happened to me and the agent is saying that the contract will not end whilst one of us remains in the property. Surely that cannot be right as that means I am liable if the other person does not pay or makes any damage.

  30. My fixed tenancy for a year has ended 3 months ago and my date that I started the contract was on the 13th of the month. I would like to give notice to end my tenancy, if I give it today, 16th does that mean I have to wait almost two months before I can stop paying rent or is it 30 days period? Many thanks

    1. Hi Alex, it depends on your tenancy agreement. Often you will have to time the notice to end at the end of a rental period. Usually rental periods end on the last day of a calendar month. If so, your notice will have to meet both conditions: (1) give at least the minimum amount of notice (2) time it so it ends at the end of a rental period.

  31. Hello.

    I found your article very interesting but have a question based on your answer to the enquiry re one party giving notice that they wish to terminate the contract and move out at the end of the fixed term period of an assured short hold tenancy and another tenant, being part of that same contract, wishes to remain and refused to move out.

    Your response says that the tenant who wishes to end the contract can do so but the agency we are using is giving us conflicting advice and says that if one tenant remains in the property at the end of the fixed term then the party moving out remains liable

    Therefore, please could you direct us to the relevant legislation in this respect to help us in our discussions with the agency.

    Many Thanks

    1. Hi Jan, I can’t give you a link to an act of parliament on this issue, but I can tell you that once out of the fixed term (i.e., once in a period contract), any member of a joint tenancy can give notice to end the tenancy agreement, and this will end the tenancy for all parties. The exception is if the tenancy agreement (i.e. the contract) has a clause that says otherwise.

  32. I have lived at this property for 2 1/2 years regularly renewing a shorthold and just come to the end of a 6 months assured shorthold. On this occasion I told the agent acting for my landlord that I just wanted to move to a rolling contract, this is because I am buying a new home and will need to give notice and didn’t want to be tied in. The previous shorthold doesn’t give any details of a notice period and I always paid my rent 6 months in advance for ease but obviously I now pay monthly since 10th January. Can you tell me how much notice I will have to give to now end the rolling contract as the earlier mention in the blog of paying in bulk, 6 months in advance has me a little confused.. thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Anne, if there’s nothing in your contract about how much notice you have to give (which would actually be quite unlikely, so make sure you’ve read it all through closely!), then the usual amount is two months.

  33. Hi there,

    Our tenants are just about to complete their first 12-month fixed term and would like to renew for the same period again. However, I would like to include a 6-month break clause in the agreement as we might want to try and sell our property later this year. Our tenants have pushed back on this and have suggested a 10-month break clause instead which would represent a reduction of 2 months from the tenancy agreement they originally signed. This doesn’t really work for us so we spoke to our letting agent about this. They said “the problem with adding a break clause is that it’s not entirely a renewal if anything is changed apart from the dates, and rental amount. So, as it wasn’t in the contract originally, the tenant doesn’t have to agree to it being added by law”.

    I’d really appreciate your thoughts on the break clause before we respond to our letting agent / tenants.

    Kind regards,
    Neil.

    1. Hi Neil,

      Your agents are right in the sense that the tenants don’t have to agree to any new terms. It sounds like your tenants want more security with a longer fixed term. But if they don’t sign a new contract/renew, then your tenancy will become a periodic tenancy, which affords them even less security: you’ll usually be able to evict them at two month’s notice with a ‘no fault’ Section 21 eviction.

      If you’re selling between 6 and 10 months from now, then it may be worth saying to them that they can choose between letting the tenancy turn periodic (less security for them), a 6 month break clause (your best outcome) or them leaving the property (not ideal, but will leave you able to sell whenever you want).

  34. I have tenants who signed a 6 monthly AST on 25th August 2017. It therefore expires 25th February 2018. They now want to renew for 1 year. My question is, can I get the new year AST agreement drawn up and signed by the tenants and I before the 25th February ? I want to do it as soon as possible, to give us all peace of mind.

    1. Hi Clare, yes if all parties agree about what they want to happen, you can draw up and sign a new tenancy agreement within a day. Essentially you just need to sign the same agreement as last time, but with a fixed term of 12 months instead of 6 months, and updating any parts about the tenancy deposit, etc.

  35. Hi,
    I was given notice to quit by my landlady back in November 2017. My Tenacy Agreement was due to end on 12th Feb 2018. The landlady wanted the property back and I had always paid my rent on time. In the notice she said that I needed to be out by 12th March at the latest. I left on 2nd January 2018 (10 days before my rent was due for the next month) and she accepted the keys from me. She is now saying that I owe her for the month 12th Jan- 12th Feb that is on my contract, even though I was no longer in the property and she was the one giving me notice. Is she correct?

    1. Hi Louise. Yes. You have to pay the rent for the entire length of your tenancy agreement. When you sign a tenancy agreement, it says the length of the fixed term, and that you will pay the agreed rent. Whether you are in fact in the property doesn’t change this. When your landlord gave you notice in November, they were letting you know that they wanted the property back after the end of your agreement, so there was no need to leave early. It is always possible to come to an agreement that you will end the tenancy early if it suits both parties, but if you don’t do this, then you must still pay the rent until the end of the tenancy.

  36. I’ve had tenants on a 1 year fixed AST which ends on 8 April. I had spoken to them both to say i would continue the contract after that on a periodic tenancy, which suits me and appeared to suit them. However, one of the pair has now given notice that she wants to move out on 8 April instead. The other has found a replacement flat mate and they and I would ideally prefer to continue on a periodic tenancy. I’m currently carrying out credit checks etc. Having read this I see that the tenancy agreement between my 2 tenants comes to and end if one moves out.. therefore I can’t continue it as periodic for the new tenants. Is there any way around this? The tenant who is leaving would ideally like to leave on 8 March. Presumably there is no process for replacing one tenant with another (Ie. for the last month changing the agreement names and them both signing it in order to keep the AST tenancy live in order for it to progress to a periodic one? So is my only option to issue a new contract for a whole 6 months or year? Is there any kind of initial contract that I can do that is essentially the same as a periodic one – I ask this because the remaining existing tenant does not seem to be keen to be tied to a whole year/6 months and i’m not keen on it either as people’s lives change and fixed contracts don’t allow for that.

    1. Hi Cindy – good news here: you should be able to achieve everything you want quite easily.

      First let’s look at your current tenancy. Yes, even though you are still in the fixed term, if all parties agree, then you can mutually surrender your tenancy, and end it in March. The old tenant will then be able to move out, and the new one move in.

      Now let’s look at the new tenancy you want to create. You have essentially asked whether you can sign an AST with no fixed term. The answer is yes. You can sign a periodic tenancy with no fixed term, although you won’t be able to evict the tenants with a Section 21 notice within the first six months. (But they will be able to leave if they want to.)

  37. Hi,

    I have been renting my current studio apartment for 1 year and 3 months. The initial term of the tenancy was 1 year and the agreement does contain a clause that says that after the end of the term the contract will continue as a “periodic tenancy” and run from month to month. However, the same clause also stipulates that the Tenant should give at least 2 month’s notice to terminate the contract. Is this not contradictory? How can a notice period of 2 months be required for an agreement renewed on a monthly basis? What interpretation should I give to this clause?

    Thank you in advance for your help,
    Best regards,
    Alicia

    1. Hi Alicia, I’m not a legal expert, so I wouldn’t want to give legal advice on interpreting contracts. I can tell you something about how periodic contracts work, however!

      ‘Periodic’ just refers to the rental period of the contract. That simply means (i) how often you pay the rent and (ii) the time period which that rental payment covers (e.g. my 1st May rental payment pays the rent for the month of May). Your tenancy is not ‘renewed on a monthly basis’. Rather, you have one indefinite tenancy with a monthly rental period. You are not creating a new agreement every month by paying the rent. Rather, you are continuing to honour your ongoing tenancy agreement responsibility of paying the agreed monthly rent.

      So the clause in your contract is just saying that, if you want to end this indefinite monthly period tenancy, you need to give the landlord at least 2 months’ notice.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  38. Hi,
    Thanks for the amazing article and comments!
    I have AST with an agency that has fixed term which ends in
    less than a month. The agency proposed to renew the fixed term to 6 or 12 months, which I rejected. They seem to have found new tenants and are telling me that I have to move out at the end of my fixed term without any notice sent to me so far. Can they evict me just because the fixed term has ended without notice or that is an agency trick to check how well you know the law? (Housing Act 1988 sections 5 and 21)

    1. Hi Jason. No – your landlord (or agent) will pretty much always have to give you at least 2 months’ notice before you must leave the property. It’s very bad practice to sign anything with new tenants while a the property already has a tenant (you), and if they are claiming to have done this, then I would recommend complaining to the redress scheme the agent is a member of (e.g. the Property Ombudsman, ARLA, etc.) You can usually find this on their website.

      When it comes to giving notice at the end of a fixed term, there is an imbalance between the notice periods that the landlord and tenant must give. I.e. the tenant can move out at the end of the period (as Tessa describes above), whereas the landlord must (usually) terminate the tenancy using a Section 21 notice, which has a 2 month notice period.

      To recap, you landlord/agent will need to give you at least 2 months’ notice to move out, and you won’t have to leave at the end of your fixed term.

      Keep us updated!

  39. Thanks for the article.
    I am a landlord and the initial 6 month tenancy agreement that was in place has now rolled onto a periodic tenancy. I have been charged £90 by the letting agent for this to happen. I have never heard of being charged for this to happen and was not told I would face this charge. Can you tell me if this is grounds to raise a complaint?

    1. Hi Graham – we’ve never heard of this being charged for either. It literally happens automatically, incurring no costs to the agent or landlord, so it’s hard to see why you should be charged!

      I would first check your Tenancy Agreement & pre-movein correspondence to see if you agreed to any such charges. If there’s nothing in there about this charge, then it’s hard to see why you should pay it.

      If you haven’t paid it yet, then don’t pay it without asking why you should. And don’t pay unless you get a good answer.

      If you have paid it already, then complain. If no reason is given, then you should raise a complaint with the trade body of which the agent is a member. You can usually find this on their website or by calling their office.

      Keep us updated on how this progresses!

      Sam

  40. Hi Tessa,
    I’m on a 2 years fixed term contract without break clause (my mistake for not realising this when I signed the contract). However, I need to move out and sent notice to my landlord in January (3 months ago) before my leave day (next week). However he insists for me to continue to pay rent until the end of the contract or until he finds another tenant (and he does’t seem interested to fin d someone else). For me is a real big financial struggle to pay rent in 2 places: won’t be able to do so, that’s practically impossible, will have to pay more than I can earn. He is rather stubborn to ask me to continue to pay. What should I do? I won’t have enough money to pay him rent and he doesn’t want to let me out. What do you suggest?
    Thank you so much,
    G.

    1. Hi G,

      This is a really common situation! As you mention, if you’ve signed a fixed-term AST, then there’s not much you can do if you want to stop paying rent before the minimum fixed term.

      One good piece of news is that the landlord is happy for you to find a new tenant as a possible solution. In this scenario, a new tenant would pay a holding deposit and sign a tenancy agreement. You and the landlord would end your contract by mutual surrender of the agreement. The new tenant would then move in. It’s a bit fiddly and the timings can be difficult, but it’s quite common.

      You might find it surprisingly easy to find a new tenant. The landlord could place the property on OpenRent for free, where our average let-time is just one week. Then you’d be free to move out.

      Best of luck with your situation!

  41. Hi Tessa,

    Very good advice! Ive got a concerning question, I’ve vacated the property from a joint tenancy agreement. Would I stilll be liable to pay bills etc?

    The Estate Agents had only said I will be liable to pay rent up until I can replace a tenant? Although I’ve emptied my room already.

  42. I’m in a joint tenancy with 3 other people and we are on a periodic rolling contract since Aug 17′. Me and one other want to move out and the other two want to remain until July this year – the property manager says if we don’t all agree to move out together, me and the other will be liable for our share of the rent.

    Is this correct? We’ve given enough time for one months notice before moving out? Could somebody please help me clarify?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Kyle, the short answer is that if one (or more) tenant of a joint periodic tenancy gives the required notice to end the tenancy, then the tenancy ends for all parties.

      That is, your flatmate can serve notice to leave, and if they serve it according to the terms of the contract, then the tenancy will end for them, you and the landlord. You will not be liable to continue paying rent, nor will they, since the tenancy will have been terminated. You will also, of course, not be able to continue living in the property as tenants.

      The above is usually the case, but there may be certain things in your tenancy agreement which bear on this, so definitely check through and seek legal advice if you are not sure of what to do.

      Let us know how you get on!

  43. I beg someone to help me.
    I am on a joint fix term tenancy with a person I don’t know. He has been abusive and threatened me, he admired having mental issues which have not been taken care of and stoped taking medication. This 6months have been hell. My contract expired on the 27th of February and I have served my notice a week ago and since then I am uneable to go back home as I am extremely frightened of him, I would not be safe to be there as he is not taking this well. Him and the agency wants me to find a replacement for the flat and also to pay the agency fees which are £540! Would this be ok? Even tho the contract is expired and on the contract said I would have to find a replacement only if I want to get out throughout the contract. Please help. I am not safe.

    1. Hi Letizia, if your fixed term expired on the 27th Feb, then you can serve notice to leave whenever you want, and after the notice period is up, the tenancy will be over. You won’t be liable to pay the rent, or any fees for finding new tenants.

      In fact, if you had moved out on the 27th Feb, you could have left without giving any notice at all. Now that the fixed term has passed and the contract is periodic, however, you will have to wait until your notice period is up.

      If you need more assistance, contact Shelter.

  44. My fixed term contract ended on 16th march 2018 and we (myself, letting agent, property owner) agreed that my tenancy would become “rolling” on a month to month basis.
    However, my agency has been taken over recently and now i’m getting emails confirming the above but asking me for a renewal fee of £75..? I thought you only paid a renewal fee if entering into a new fixed term contract. Any advice how to respond? Or should I just pay the fee?

    1. Hi Yvonne, you’re right to question this!

      We don’t think renewal fees are necessary in cases like yours (and indeed we don’t charge them). Agents usually make their money by finding tenants, but since your landlord already has a perfectly good tenant (you), it sounds like they are just trying to find some money from their new client (your landlord).

      As I said, we don’t agree with renewal fees in situations like yours. However, most letting agents do charge them. But as you say, they only charge them if introducing a new-fixed term agreement. Definitely don’t pay the fee if you’re not even signing a new tenancy agreement.

      Moreover, it might also be very possible to not pay any fee even if you do sign a new agreement. If you’d prefer to be back on a fixed term contract and were happy with the terms of the old one that expired in March, then you could ask your landlord to produce a similar agreement with just the dates changed. In that scenario, it’s very hard to see why you should pay the agent anything at all.

  45. I have a tenant on a assure shorthorn tenancy for 12 months dated march 2013, I have never renewed the agreement and the tenant still there. Now I want to sell the property and people are telling me it’s going to be difficult to get rid of the tenant. What should I do.?

    1. Hi Teresa, according to what you have said, the fixed term of your tenancy will have expired around the end of February 2014.

      This means you should be able to issue a normal section 21 notice to your tenant according to the notice period required in your tenancy agreement. As long as the tenant accepts that they must leave at the end of the notice period, everything should proceed smoothly!

  46. Hi, my 12-month fixed-term contract ends on Apr 30 (I have been a tenant at this property for 4 years) but I intend to move out at the end of tenancy i.e. on May 1. My property agent told me that I will need to give 2 months notice before I can vacate the property. Am I required to still serve the notice when my tenancy is already due to expire this month? I will greatly appreciate your guidance please. Thank you.

    1. Hi Prakash, great question. If you leave on the specific day that the fixed term expires, then no, you don’t need to give notice unless your contract has a specific clause saying that you do. It should also describe how long this notice must be.

      But if there is no such clause, then you can leave on the last day of the fixed term with no notice (according to Shelter)

      Even if this is the case, I’d always recommend giving your landlord as much notice as possible so that they can find new tenants and make all necessary arrangements.

  47. I am a Landlord with an AST agreement for 6 months just starting. At the end of the fixed period I am happy to let it continue as a periodic tenancy. If the tenant wants a new fixed term then the Letting Agent that introduced the tenant and provided the agreement will want another fee for just changing the dates and circulating the same agreement for signature. I know I can’t use their Tenancy agreement, but there are plenty of model agreements available to produce my own. Could I create my own tenancy agreement? What would the implications be on the deposit as the Agent is responsible for the collection and depositing with the protection scheme. Does the deposit have to be returned at the end of the 6 months fixed term or periodic tenancy, if it runs beyond the 6 months, and a new one taken for the new fixed term tenancy agreement.

    1. Hi Steve – lots of questions here. Let’s jump in!

      Whether you’d need to pay fees to your agent or not depends on the terms of your agreement with them. Reading through your agreement should make this clear. Yes, there are many model tenancy agreements out there. Here’s ours, which you can use for free.

      Tenancy deposits can be transferred. You could always just ask your agent to transfer the deposit into your name. No – the deposit doesn’t have to be returned at the end of the fixed term; the tenancy will still exist, it will just have turned periodic as opposed to fixed-term. The tenancy deposit will be held until the termination of the tenancy not the until the termination of the fixed term.

  48. Hi,

    I’ve rented a flat on a fixed term of 6 months. I believe it automatically turned into a periodic tenancy when this ended a month ago. My landlord sold my flat and a new managing agency is in charge now, but it was said they would agree to the old agreement.

    The new agency wants me to sign a 12 month fixed term agreement at an increased monthly rent starting at the beginning of next month. I only have a 5 months of a 12 month contract left with my company so I feel I don’t have the job security to sign something like this. What rights do I have? I presume at the moment I’m still covered by my periodic agreement so if I decline, I’m still covered by the rules of this, so they must give me two months notice to kick me out. Is this correct?

    Also, I thought they weren’t allowed to increase my rent with less than a months notice. Or does the fact it’s a new contract change mean they can?

    I’ve not talked to the agency yet but I was hoping to understand my position before negotiating. Any help would be appreciated.

  49. Hi Tessa,
    How much notice my lodger has to give if they agreed on a 3 month term and want to leave just after 1month (leaving agreement early) ? Shall I let them go but charge month rent as a leaving fee?
    Please help
    Meg

    1. Hi Meg, if you’ve agreed to a three-month fixed term, then they will have to honour that unless you agree to let them out of the agreement. Whether you want to compromise of not is really down to your discretion.

      Outside of a fixed term (i.e. in a periodic set-up) lodgers have to give whatever notice is agreed in their lodging agreement. If there’s no notice period in the agreement then the law only requires ‘reasonable’ notice. Since you say you have agreed a three-month term, this doesn’t apply to you in this case.

  50. Hi Sam,
    Thank you so much for your response!
    She is a lodger but we agreed on a 3 month term. However, as it’s a short term I didn’t note anything about how much notice must be given if they want to leave the contract early. I thought it was rather cheeky to receive a week notice from her plus refund.
    I am happy for her to leave the contact early but think she should pay at least a month rent as her leaving fee..
    please give me your thoughts.

    1. Hi Meg,

      If you’ve worked out that this is the most sensible way to proceed, then you need be careful about the fee aspect.

      Your agreement probably doesn’t include anything about ‘leaving fees’? If so, then if you agreed to release her from the tenancy and then tried to get this fee, she wouldn’t have to pay anything.

      It sounds like to best thing for everyone would be if she stayed until you found a replacement who would take on her rental payments.

      1. Hello Sam,

        Luckily I had a proper discussion with her and she agreed on paying a month leaving fee if she leaves early. I will also not be refunding her deposit so it’s all good news 👍🏼
        Thank you so much for your help though! I have learned a lot.

  51. Hi .
    We have just moved out of our rented property after 9 years . A 100 yr old farm house . The landlord served us a two month notice to quit as he wants the house back for his son . Fine thats life . We finally completed buying our new property 2 days before the notice to quit expired . He agreed to ket us have a few more days to organise van hire etc . Anyway , we moved that weekend , 3 days past expiry .
    We then waited for the landlord to contact us but after nearly 2 weeks contacted him to hand back the remainder of the keys .
    He then informed us that he wont be returning the deposit until the house was redecorated and he has people in to do it . I asked why he didn’t inform us first to let us know which parts of the house were unsatisfactory. His reply was we don’t do it that way .
    Basically he gave us no oportunity to go back and now says he would of given us more time . He maoned the day we were moving as he expected us to out as his son wanted it . All lies I reckon .

    We we’re initially on an assured shorthold tenancy of six months and payed six months rent up front plus a deposit on top .

    Where do we stand fighting for our deposit .

    Stephen

  52. What happens if the landlord does not stipulate the term in the contract – does it revert to automatic 6 months minimum or does it just becoming a rolling one where either side can give notice any time. The start date is clear but the term was left blank. I have a friend who wants to leave the property asap as the landlord came to the property without prior agreement but landlord is insisting on 6 month minimum.

  53. Hi,

    We just bought a house and the letting agency is insisting we give 2 months notice. We started with a 6 month tenancy(Edinburgh, Scotland) in 25/02/16 and haven’t signed anything since, our rent has not changed throughout the tenancy. It does state 2 months notice in our contract but our house process was so quick. We had the mortgage agreement and sale in a week. We were unwilling to hand in notice during the house buying process just encase we were left high and dry and having to find a new property to rent. Is there anything we can do to shorten it down to 1 month.

    1. Hi Paul, congratulations on buying a new home! As always usual with tenancies, if all parties agree, then most things are possible. If you can’t all agree, then the tenancy agreement is a legal position that you’ll have to fall back on.

      If the agent is not willing let you leave earlier, then you will have to abide by the agreement’s 2 month notice period.

      The agent will just be worried that the property will be void for a period if they don’t get enough time to advertise it. So you could offer to find new tenants yourself who are willing to move in as soon as you leave. If you did this, then you would avoid having to pay the rent for the extra month.

      If that doesn’t work, you could negotiate with your bank to start your mortgage payments two months later than planned?

  54. I am a tenant on a 12 month lease but I have chosen to leave after 9 months. Luckily, the landlord provided a break clause in the tenancy agreement:- give 2 months notice and take the responsibility of finding a suitable replacement tenant to take on the lease. However the problem is that the landlord is not accepting any of the potential new tenants that I have found! He says that I am restricted to finding “white-collar” workers who work in office environments and says that he doesn’t accept trades-people/ blue-collar workers (his words not mine!) I managed to get a few “white-collar” people to come for viewings but they simply didnt like the room!

    If I am turning away perfectly good replacement tenants because of his prejudices then surely it’s unfair that I am to be in a position where he can force me to pay rent until someone with an office job comes along???

    PS even if I had chosen to stay for the full 12 months he says that it would still be my responsibility to find a replacement.

  55. Hi Sam,

    Lots of great advice on here and wonder if you can help? Our joint fixed term tenency agreement ends on the 30th September and 3 of us (out of 6 housemates) are planning to move out then. We intend to give the Landlord notice but worried if we need to find people to take our rooms? This shouldn’t be the case since we are leaving at the end of our fixed joint tenency agreement, right? The rent has become too high and the last person to move out found it insanely difficult to get someone to replace him.

  56. Hi Sam,

    Hope you are doing well.
    I have a situation and I am not very sure I know the right answer and I hope maybe you could advise.
    I had a fixed term contract with my landlord that ended in April this year. Since then i paid the rent in a regulary basis and all other bills. However due to my husband relocation with work we will need to move in a different city in one month. The initial contract had 2 months notice period, however it wasnt renewed. I would like to understand if we can leave after 1 month or if we should stay 2 to follow the initial contract rules.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Lucy, thanks for your question.

      If your tenancy agreement says you must give 2 months’ notice, then that’s what you must give to terminate the tenancy. Even though the fixed term has expired, the original terms of the tenancy will still apply. You will be best off giving your notice immediately and then trying to negotiate leaving even earlier with your landlord.

      You could move out before the 2 months, but you would of course still be liable to pay the rent (unless you or the landlord found another tenant to replace you).

      Best of luck!

      Sam

  57. Trying to cut a very long story short. Person A is stuck in a joint tenancy with person B for another 11 months & 1 week (yes, 3 weeks after moving in the marriage is dissolving)! The problem is that person B refuses to be reasonable or agreeable. Back to person A…person A is closely related to the landlord & wishes to stay at the house on their own without person B. Does person A need wait for 11 months & 3 weeks, living with unreasonable person B until a new tenancy can be drawn up solely in person A’s name…is that legal at all & judging by how unreasonable person B is being is there anything that person A can do to get person B out for good without breaking the law?

    1. Hi CL, tenants aren’t generally able to end a tenancy within the fixed term. In your case, this is the first 12 month.

      Landlords can sometimes evict tenants within the fixed term using a section 8 eviction notice, but at least one of the 17 grounds for section 8 eviction must obtain for this to be possible. There are too many to list here, but you can view all 17 grounds for section 8 eviction here.

      If one of these is the case, then the landlord could in theory serve a section 8 notice to start eviction proceedings.

      This is all hypothetical, however, and the range of grounds is large, from some rare technicalities to serious breaches of the agreement by the tenant.

      At the end of the day, all tenants who sign the contract have the right to peacefully enjoy living in the property, and any attempt to force them out without good reasons and without following the correct process will be illegal. This is always the danger for tenants in joint tenancies.

  58. I have a fixed term tenancy, however my contracts states “xx/xx/xxxx start date- xx/xx/xxxx end date, 6 months fixed period, 2 month notice, 6 month minimum term”
    The emails received to me by the agency state that my contract is coming to an end in 2 months and that I need to notify them if I am renewing it. Which I had no intentions of, therefore I gave them no notice over Email.
    The 2 month notice stated in my contract is not specific to the fact that I need to give them notice to ‘vacate on my end term date’. Am I still liable to pay them?

    1. Hi Veronica – it depends what you mean by ‘liable to pay them’.

      Will you have to pay rent until the day you move out? Yes.

      Will you need to give 2 months’ if it says you will in your tenancy agreement? Yes.

      Will you need to pay renewal fees to the lettings agent? Not necessarily. You can just let the contract turn periodic if that would suit you. If you do this, however, the agent will be able to evict you at any point with just 2 months’ notice.

      Let me know if that’s now what you meant!

      Sam

  59. I’m a landlord,my tenants have lived in the house for 12 months come this September 2018.i don’t want to renew contract or give them a rolling contract in September.what do I do,do I give them notice to say move out in September.please advise me

    Thank you
    Freda

    1. Hi Freda, assuming your fixed term was 12 months long, you’ll just need to serve a Section 21 notice that expires after the end of the fixed term. The notice period is usually 2 months, but you should check your agreement so that you time the notice to fall outside of the fixed term.

      Sam

  60. HI ,

    I am tenant i have been renting a room in a flat for almost a year now. Initially i have signed a very simple contract with the agent (2pages) for 3 months. Since then i have been paying the rent always on time. Yesterday he gave me a written notice saying that i need to move out the flat in one month(which i have already prepaid) .If i move earlier he says that he will return the difference . However he did that to another girl of the flat 2 months ago and declined to give her back the last week (she left earlier). My questions are:

    1) what is the minimum notice he can give me 1 or 2 months? Do i have to prepay those months or i can pay weekly for every week i am in during this time?

    2)If i move earlier than the notice and he declines to give me my money and deposit back what can i do?

    thanks

    1. Hi Vap. The notice period should be written in your agreement. Check your contract to see how much notice the landlord needs to give you.

      If nothing is written in the agreement, and your contract is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) then the notice period of 2 months.

      You still have to pay the rent for your notice period, and if you have been paying rent in advance instead of in arrears (e.g. paying for the month of May at the end of April) then you will need to continue paying in this way.

      If you have both agreed a move-out date in writing, and you have already payed the rent for a longer period, then the landlord is obliged to return the excess rent. The process would be to remind them you will be owed it before you move out, get an agreement in writing of how much it will be, how you worked out the amount and when it will be paid.

      Then, if the landlord doesn’t pay it, you can apply to court to recover the money.

      You should have been given instructions on how to challenge any deposit deduction in the prescribed information the landlord is obliged to serve to you within 30 days of you paying the deposit at the start of the tenancy. If you have not been served this, then the landlord will be unable to validly serve you notice and you may be able to claim three times the amount of the deposit from the landlord.

  61. Me and my flat mate took a 9 month contract from 7th September 2017 till 7th June 2018. (University students).
    My flat mate contacted the agent on the 1st May to say we were moving out and asked for advice. They told her to take Meter readings and hand in the keys.
    My flat mate handed in her keys on the 11th May and I moved out 25th May however we were fully paid up till the 7th June. My keys went back in the 25th May.
    The agent contacted us on the 22nd May saying that as we didn’t put this in writing we have to pay two more months rent.
    How do I deal with this and our deposit.
    Thanks.

  62. Say that I signed up a 12-month AST (no break clause) that ends on August 15 (including the 15th) and the landlord wants to serve a section 21 notice. How does the two months minimum period actually work? It’s now the 29th of June, which means that if she wanted the flat to be free on the 16th of August she’d have to serve a section 21 notice two weeks ago.

    1. Hi Peter,

      Exactly – she is now unable to serve notice expiring on 16th August, because there are less than 2 months until that date.

      She could serve one at any given point until the end of the fixed term, however. E.g. if she served a section 21 notice to you today (by hand so she knows it was delivered today) then it would expire on 29th August.

      After the fixed term ends (e.g. from 16th August onward), she will have to serve notice so that it expires on the final day of a rental period.

  63. My 2 year fixed tenancy contract has ended 23rd of June. I am in the process of buying property. At the beginning of June I had mortgage offer ready and all docs were passed to my solicitors. They assured me I will be able to move before 7th of July. I asked Landlord for 2 week extension which he agreed. This week I got a call from slicitor law firm telling me they may not be able to complete legal work before 7th of July. I asked landlord for another extension, but he refused saying he ha has already new tenant moving in on 9th of July. I have a wife and 7 year old son. Have no family or friends to stay over until the deal is closed so I cant really see any other options other then staying in the flat. I will obviously pay the rent as long as I stay. My question is what can landlord do against me. I mean eviction is not an option I guess since I will be probably moving in 2 or 3 weeks anyway.
    Thanx

    1. Hi Adam, We’d always recommend coming to a written agreement with the landlord when moving out instead of acting unilaterally. If at all possible, you would be best off getting another extention agreed to in writing.

      Legally, if the landlord hasn’t served you notice (probably a Section 21 notice because you’re at the end of your contract) yet, then there’s very little they can do to get you out of the property. As long as you kept paying rent, the only ‘bad’ thing that might happen is that you would not receive a good reference from the landlord in future. But if you’re buying your own home, then that might not be of much importance to you.

      One thing to note, however, is that, if you haven’t served notice to leave, then you will have to do that in order to terminate the tenancy. That means you may still be liable to pay the rent until the notice expires.

      More info notice here
      more info on ending a tenancy by mutual agreement here

  64. Hi guys, I’m wondering if you can help with our query…

    So I’m a landlord and I gave out my property to a company who basically run a business where they would rent out each room to tenants at our property.

    So our contract is with the company and the company has contracts with the individuals within our property

    Its come to a point where the company hasn’t been paying us rent for a long time and we would like to evict them

    The company at this very time is going through a court case with one of the tenants at our property. The company is in the process of evicting that tenant but are having difficulties to do so. That tenant is not paying the company because of disrepair.

    We just want our property back as the company hasn’t paid us for over 4 months! They keep using the above problem as an excuse and are now asking us to do repair work after we’ve already served them notice to quit.

    We have served a notice to quit document to them and the 30 days notice period has come to an end. The Company still hasn’t vacated our property and he is still making money out of ALL tenants living there (not just the tenant they are having issues with)

    How should we proceed? I’m guessing we should now apply for a possession order from court? I understand this takes 6-8 weeks? If during that time the company vacates our property, how do we LEGALLY get our property back? Do we need the company to sign a document that they have handed the keys over and that no tenants will return back?

    Sorry for the loooong case but will be grateful for any advice 🙂

  65. Hi Tessa,
    Thank you very much for your nice article.
    The tenancy agreement with one of my tenant is going to expire on 20th of August 2018, he has been living here for 6 months. He wants to renew it for another 6 months. But problem is he wants it to start from 1st of September 2018. what should I paperwork from 21 August to 31st of august? Do i need to make formal contact for this 13 days?
    I just want to be in the safe side.

    I would really appreciate your response.

    Best Regards

    1. Hi Zayed, If the tenant keeps paying the rent and living in the property for those 13 days, then you don’t need to sign a 13-day contract to cover this period. Your current tenancy will simply become a periodic tenancy after 20th August. Then, when you sign the new contract to begin on 1st September, that agreement will supersede your the periodic tenancy agreement. The legal operation here is an express surrender by mutual consent: you both signing a new tenancy for the same property shows that both agree to end the old tenancy.

      I would recommend signing the new tenancy agreement, dated to start on the 1st September as soon as possible, and not to wait until the current tenancy ends. This gives you most security as a landlord.

      Let me know if that clears it up!

      Sam

  66. Hi,
    I have a common law agreement to rent a room, done thru an agency. The agency stated in the agreement they are the deposit holders. I informed them my intention not to renew the agreement. I sent it by email to the agency but not to the landlord (who lives in but works abroad so spends time not at the property). The agency are now telling me to request the deposit from the landlord, not them. There was no check-in done at the start, can the landlord deduct from the deposit if he states anything is missing or damaged? The agreement listed obligations as if I was renting the whole property, including council tax; I was never liable by the Council, should I have paid this to the landlord? The landlord was not present when I moved in, or the agency, and he may not be there the day I leave.

  67. Hi my step daughter is living in house in London there is 4 there. Her six month contract is coming up and the landing says she had to pay a fee of 875 to renew her contract. Can he do this, she can only just cover her rent even though she is working. Will not be able to pay this money.

    1. Hi Dean, he can ask for it, but she doesn’t have to pay it. Although, if she doesn’t then the landlord may serve notice to evict her. If she doesn’t pay, then her contract won’t just disappear. She can stay there until she is legally evicted via the landlord serving notice, and the notice period expires. That should leave ample time to find a new home if needed. If she finds an OpenRent property, then she will only have to pay a maximum of £20 for referencing.

  68. Hi,
    I have a common law agreement to rent a room, done thru an agency. The agency stated in the agreement they are the deposit holders. I informed them my intention not to renew the agreement. I sent it by email to the agency but not to the landlord (who lives in but works abroad so spends time not at the property). The agency are now telling me to request the deposit from the landlord, not them. There was no check-in done at the start, can the landlord deduct from the deposit if he states anything is missing or damaged? The agreement listed obligations as if I was renting the whole property, including council tax; I was never liable by the Council, should I have paid this to the landlord? The landlord was not present when I moved in, or the agency, and he may not be there the day I leave.

  69. Hello
    One big problem. I signed a fix term tenancy for 1 year( july17- july 18). Because of my wife health problem we need to go back in my country for few months. I told to my landlord about the problem after i pay the rent for this month ( july 18- aug 18). He said to me that after i.m leaving on 11 of august he will still keep me money from deposit until next tenants are in. I did not sign another fixed term contract. What should i do in this situation? And also he protected my deposit after 3 months . And he will not be here on checkout day. ( will be away).

  70. Hello,
    I’m on a fixed term ( 1 year tenancy agreement) that end on 5th of November. We agree ( I and the landlord) to cancel the tenancy agreement through estate agency and make a private tenancy agreement ( to avoid all the estate agency fees).
    What is the procedure to do it without having any problems (I and the landlord)?
    Thank you very much

  71. Hello,
    My tenants AST ran out on 4th November 2017. On 6th October they were issued with a section 21 which has been continuously renewed with both parties agreeing on an expiry date of 5 September 2018. Yesterday the tenants gave one weeks notice and want reimbursing for rent paid up until 5 September. Am I obliged to refund them? Does the issue of a section 21 rule out a periodic tenancy? In the original tenancy agreement if the tenancy agreement is not renewed and becomes a periodic agreement, 4 weeks notice has to be given by the tenants.

  72. Hello,
    I am a landlord and the AST initial fixed term of 12months is coming to an end. I wonder whether letting agent renewal fees are still payable if I don’t renew the tenancy, but let it roll into a periodic tenancy.

    There is a clear clause in the agent’s T&C, which say a fee is payable on all renewals. This is the text:

    ‘Fees for let only renewals
    The fee is payable on or before the start date of the extension and is due for all subsequent renewals of the tenancy for any term. Our fee is payable in the event that the original term is extended for a further period, whether or not the renewal is arranged by us, to either the same tenant or any person connected to this tenant.’

    The agent wrote to me to say that the fee is payable ‘for as long as the tenant remains in the property’, which is far from clear from the text above.

    Any comments or help, please?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Denise, I’m not legally trained and this doesn’t constitute legal advice, but I would agree with your analysis of that clause vs. what the agent said.

      When a tenancy’s fixed term expires and the tenancy becomes periodic, that is not a renewal of the tenancy, but the creation of a periodic tenancy by statute (or sometimes by contract if there is a clause about it in the contract).

  73. I have tenants in my property which started as a joint AST but now has transferred to a periodic agreement.
    The couple have split up and the boyfriend has given notice to quit and has already left the property.
    The girlfriend and their 2 children want to remain and claim benefits to pay the rent under a new AST. She currently has no money and no rent is being paid and they have rent arrears also. I don’t particularly want the girlfriend to stay as she does not maintain the property well. Do I have to sign a new rental agreement as she has requested? If not does she have to vacate the property after the month’s notice that her ex partner has given?

    1. Hi Amanda, it sounds like your tenancy might already be legally over.

      In a joint tenancy, any tenant can serve notice. If they have moved out when the notice period expires, and they stop paying rent, then the tenancy is over, for all parties (all tenants and the landlord).

      Your case is a little more complex because some of the tenants are still in the property.

      The safest thing to do might be to serve a Section 21 to the remaining tenants, naming all previous tenants (i.e. the boyfriend too). If you’re out of the fixed term, then the Section 21 should be the quickest way to evict them.

  74. Will a bad (but easily improved) EPC cause eviction?
    I’m just about to renew my 12 month AST. I have been in the property for over 5 years and have a perfect rent account record. The EPC (done in the last 6 months) is just a few points within the permitted range (A-E), yet I have just discovered the assumptions then used by the surveyor were incorrect (both at the date of the survey and as at today). Some errors would have been clearly visible to the surveyor (e.g. 100% double glazed when some windows are clearly old with single glazing) and some I know are known to the landlord – who has obviously ignored them (e.g. 100% Cavity wall construction when a substantial part of the extended ground floor is single blockwork – and freezing in winter!). If I were to appeal against the EPC today and it is re-assessed below the minimum required level of E, I believe the AST renewal would then not be offered. So, if I sign a new 12 month AST and only then act to appeal against the EPC which is then lowered on appeal to below 38 (F-G), would the Landlord be compelled to make improvements or could I be given notice to vacate?

    1. Hey Starla, although what you say is intuitive, it’s a little complex, and the best way to proceed Let’s look at the details.

      It sounds like you are in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy that has just, or is about to, turn periodic at the end of the fixed term.

      In this case, to renew, the landlord does indeed now need an EPC of E or above as you mention.

      If you goal is simply to stay in the property, but to have the improvements made to raise its rating, then I’d recommend simply telling this to your landlord. If you let them know that they’d need to do this anyway, and that you’re willing to put up with the work, then they can do the work while avoiding a void period, which would probably be their ideal scenario anyway.

      Otherwise, they’d have to do the work while not receiving any rental income, which would end up costing them much more in lost income.

      If the property is not found to pass with a E or above, then the landlord would not be able to evict you with a section 21 anyway, since having a valid EPC is a condition of serving a section 21 eviction notice.

      Sam

  75. Hello!
    I wonder if you can help me.
    I lived with one more tenant in a property under a joint tenancy agreement managed by an agency. I had a fixed joint agreement until July 18, which got extended on that day to end on Sept 30 (but I never signed any contract extension). On July 19 I gave my notice to leave on Sept 30, we received email confirmation and letter with instructions on leaving terms. End of September my tenant changed her mind and decided she wants to stay; she found a new person, who provided references to the agency, asking to proceed with the contract. As agreed with the landlady, I gave back the keys to her, and she passed the deposit to me. I moved out, two months passed. The agency was slow, the new tenant never signed a new contract, and decided to simply leave the place! Now the agency emailed me saying I am still jointly and severally reliable for the property. What rights do I have?
    I said to my flatmate that I intend to move out back in April… she is the one who wanted to stay beyond the original date 18 July, and only on her request I agreed to stay until end September. Since it is her still occupying the place, should she a) move out or b) take a contract in her name only?

    1. Hi Elizabeth, this is a complex situation and it is worth seeking advice from a legally trained person, Shelter or Citizens Advice.

      If you served notice correctly in July, and then moved out in September, stopped paying rent, and gave your keys back, and had your tenancy deposit returned, then this will have ended the tenancy, for everyone. I.e. this will have terminated the tenancy that existed between you-and-your-co-tenant and your landlord.

      The tenancy has ended, so you are in no way liable for the property.

      For your old co-tenant, it’s much more complicated, but I won’t go into that here.

  76. Hi,
    Wondering if you can please help me on this!
    We have been renting a property for 3 years. The AST came to an end and nothing was done to renew although we stayed and continued to pay monthly rent, so as I understand it we are on a statutory periodic tenancy.
    We now wish to move out as we have purchased a property and have been trying to give our landlord 1 months notice. The original contract stated 1 months notice. Our landlord is now trying to say that we have to give 2 months notice as “it reverted to that when the original contract ended and it became a periodic tenancy”. There is no mention of a 2 month notice period anywhere in the AST contract so I don’t think this is correct?!

    From everything I can find online (shelter etc) it should be a 1 month notice period unless otherwise stated in the contract. As the contract states 1 month it seems that should be the notice period? Who is right?

    We have offered to give a month and a half’s notice so that our tenancy would end on the day before the rent is due but he is still insisting that it should be 2 months.

    Help!

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Lucy, Shelter’s info is usually (always?) correct on these issues! If there’s nothing in your tenancy agreement about how much notice you have to give should the tenancy become periodic, then the standard is 1 month. If you serve notice, move out when it expires and stop paying the rent, then the tenancy will be over. The landlord might then try to hold on to your tenancy deposit in order to cover that second month they think they are entitled to, but if things are as cut and dry as you present them, then this would probably be easy to challenge within your given tenancy deposit scheme’s arbitration process.

      It’s always best, of course, to reach a written agreement of how the tenancy will end, since it avoids such conflict/delays on deposit returns.

      Best of luck!
      Sam

  77. Hello.
    My tenancy agreement (6months) have just ended on 4/12/18. Must add I have been living in the property for 2 years now.
    I have advised my landlord in a text message month in advance (5/11/18) that I am planning to renew agreement for another 12months, and also to cover myself as I have not heard from the letting agency, usually they are in touch month in advance. Landlord was happy with that and advised me that he will chase agency and they will be in touch with me ASAP. He also mentioned that he is doing rent review and are looking for £725.00 a month in usuall £690.00. Is that him advising me? Is that a notice?
    Where do I stand now?
    I have not received contract yet and chased agency for it today, they emailed me last week to ask you hat I am planning to do, I have advised them I will be renewing contract for another 12 months, they told me today that they have not received my email. I think they service been very poor and they wanna make me look bad.

    I made my rent payment today as it’s due by the 5th of each month and paid the usual £690.00 (I pay directly to my landlord). My understanding is that I should receive a months notice in writing about rent increase. Is that right?
    Thanks!

  78. I moved into an apartment last year with a single year tenancy with the landlord. Now the rent is due and I wanted to renew the rent but he is asking me out of the house without any grace. What should I do? How much grace am I entitled to considering its a single year tenancy agreement?

  79. We are coming up to the end of a 2 year AST (31 March) and the letting agency is asking whether we would like to renew (for a fee ofcourse..) My housemates and I would like to go Periodic.

    My question is, if I agree to go periodic then decide that actually I would like to leave on 31 March (friend is buying a house which I’d move into, but this has not yet completed), would I have to stay an additional 2 months (and leave 31 May) or would the 31 March leave date still stand without having to give notice.

    1. Hi Charlotte,

      If you moved out on the last day of the fixed term, then you would not have to give any notice. If you stay even one additional day, then the tenancy will become periodic, and you must give (usually) one month’s notice to end the tenancy.

  80. Hi I was renting a house on a fixed term agreement which was for two years. I told the agent I would not be renewing as I was buying my own place. On the last day I moved all my possessions out to my new house and cleaned the rented house. By the time I finished it was late evening and the agent was closed. Therefore I took the keys into the agents first thing the next day. They are now saying I have triggered a periodic contract as the keys were handed in late and need to give a months notice to leave. This doesn’t seem right, can you advise please

    1. Hi Jonathan, tricky one here! I would recommend seeking an expert legal opinion. You have correctly identified that if the tenant vacates the property and stops paying rent after the last day of the fixed term, then the tenant isn’t usually required to give any notice and the tenancy will be terminated. To my understanding, this is because the fixed term is an agreed length of time, so it is unfair to require the tenant to ‘double agree’ it by doing something like giving notice.

      Whether it matters where they keys are, I don’t know. Whether a statutory periodic tenancy has been created is unclear to me, so I’d recommend calling a housing solicitor, who would probably be able to tell you pretty quickly. I have the same feelings as you – i.e. that the tenancy has probably been terminated. I’d recommend not paying any rent or visiting the property until this is all sorted!

  81. Hi, Our tenant’s deposit is with the holding company, through Open Rent, is this what you mean by “properly protected”?

    “Since the Deregulation Act (2015) has come into force, there is no need to re-protect the security deposit or serve additional prescribed information as long as the deposit was properly protected when the tenancy was arranged. The deposit remains protected, and the tenancy remains between the same parties and for the same property.”

    Thanks

    1. Hi Lorraine, if we protected the deposit on your behalf, then it will be registered with the DPS. If the tenancy becomes periodic then there’s no need to do anything to the deposit. More info on our Help Centre!

  82. I have fixed agreement that finishing on 02.04.19 agency asked me if I would like to extend it agreement and I agreed. On 18.02.19 agency send me an email that contract will not be extended and my mooving out date is 02.04.19. Does the notice should be at leadt 2 months?

  83. Is there more information available on point 1 where tenants move out? We want to move out at the end of our fixed-term contract but the landlord insists on two months notice which would take us over the fixed-term.

  84. So my fixed terms ends in 23May I’ve asked my landlord for renewal 2 times already in March and April and 1st Time was told she will think about it and second time no answer at all. So we are currently inside the last 2 months that we need to give notice if we are leaving but we don’t wanna and the landlady is not giving us any answer? So if we continue paying our rent we are moving to Month by Month or she can just kick us out the last day like saying the new rent will increase with 10% or so and we disagree?

    1. Hi Galin. It’s pretty much the opposite situation. She has to give you at least two months’ notice. If you move out on the last day, then you need give no notice. If you stay after the last day of the fixed term, then the tenancy will become a periodic tenancy, at which point you’ll need to give at least one month’s notice to terminate the tenancy.

  85. hi,
    My housemate (joint tenant) has given notice (8 weeks) and is due to leave at the end of the periodic term. Initially i wanted to stay but now I want to also leave, but the periodic term is now 2 weeks away. would i need to give my own notice of also 8 weeks or will the contract end for us both on the date the other tenant gave?
    We are on a periodic agreement, however i think its periodic from when i had a different tenant before, because this one never signed a new contract and neither did i.
    i just want to ensure i can leave when i actually can, because these agents will say anything to long it out

    1. Hi Charlotte, if you are both tenants in a joint tenancy, then one tenant serving notice will end the tenancy for all parties. Hope that helps!

      1. so yes i can leave on the same date?!
        many thanks. I’ve actually asked for a copy of the last/current contract and it actually still states the name of the last person who lived here 2 years ago, so would that mean this current housemates notice doesn’t actually apply? so the ‘last’ contract actually is the one still live?! last housemate was never removed from the agreement (new one was not set up after her leaving) so again does that mean her notice to quit actually ended the agreement 2 years ago? so again i could just leave?? (i mean i wouldn’t just leave!)

        1. Hi Charlotte, OK it sounds like there’s a slightly confused picture here! I think the best thing, and this is almost always true, is to come to a mutually agreed plan with the landlord about when you will leave and mutually surrender the tenancy on an agreed date. I know this is not your own train of thought, but some tenants think ‘the AST is out of date, therefore I can do what I want’, and this can backfire badly. It would seem best to speak to the landlord first and maybe even raise these concerns and then get back in touch here if things don’t go as planned. Then you can look at your options knowing a mutual agreement isn’t likely.

  86. Hi, myself and my husband have been renting a property for 4 and a half years. Each year the estate agent phones and asks of we want to renew and we do so must go and sign to renew for another year. Lease is normally from October to October.

    Last summer they phoned and asked ‘if we were happy enough to stay put’. I said yes we’re getting married in March so will be here for another while. We didn’t sign a new contract as they didn’t ask us to.

    Now we have found a house to buy my question is are we on a periodic contract as we didn’t officially sign a year long Lease?

    1. Hi Zoe, if your fixed term has expired, then it sounds like you’ll now be on a periodic tenancy. You can serve a minimum of one month’s notice to bring the tenancy to an end.

  87. Hi Sam,

    Could you please advice, Current Assured short hold tenancy with my tenant is ending 31 May 2019. I do not want to go through statutory periodic route, I am planning to get new Fixed term Assured short hold tenancy for 6 months by amending new start and end date in the AST used when the tenant have started 6 months ago.

    My question here is the initial AST had sections which talks about ‘Deposit’ . But for this new renewal do I still need to include this section which talks about Deposit as I am not going to take any deposit as this is just renewal.

    Thanks in advance for your valuable advice

    -Pradeep

  88. Hi

    While on periodic term, can I ask tenant to sign new agreement with slight rent increase without having to serve rent increase notice, or had to do that on last day of fixed term?

    When fixed term is ending why the same is not valid if landlord choses to vacate for tenants without notice, there seams to be double standards for tenants, but always at landlords expense? This unfair practise is not norm for other business though?

    1. Hi SB, yes you can raise the rent when out of the fixed term (i.e. when in a periodic tenancy).

      Yes there is a double standard. Some of it is accidental, but some of it is deliberate, because it’s the tenant’s home, meaning they require more protections than the landlord.

      What the correct balance is, however, is the real question!

      Sam

  89. Hi Sam,

    Please can you give some advice with regards to adding a tenant to a statutory periodic tenancy?
    My tenant’s son turns 18 in July and as I understand it, he will then need to go on the tenancy agreement by law as he will have become an adult.
    What’s the best way to add him to the tenancy – can I just send an email confirming he’s now on the tenancy also or does the original AST (which was a six month AST) need to be amended to reflect this?
    Many thanks in advance.

  90. Hi there,

    I have rented a one bed privately for years and recently the landlord decided to pass the management of it on to a letting agents.

    My contract has become periodic in this shift (it was a rolling contract before, at my landlord’s request) and I have started a new standing order to the agents at the same rent rate as I was paying before. I have requested a 12 month contract from the letting agent as I believe this will afford me more security, and although the letting agent had originally given this as an option, and has said this won’t be a problem, I am yet to receive my contract. They seem to be stalling and have given me a new excuse as to not sending it each time – info of any maintenance that needs doing or a meeting needed with the landlord for example.

    I’m now rather concerned as it’s been a month since they first said they would switch my tenancy to fixed term. In your experience, is this a process that normally takes this long? Could there be a reason why they would prefer to have the building on periodic contracts? It’s worth mentioning that I’ve always been a good tenant and paid my rent on time.

    Thank you

    Laura

    1. Hi Laura, I wouldn’t say it’s uncommon for an agent to take a very long time to do things that could be accomplished in a few minutes, no.

      It’s frustrating for you because you have to live with the uncertainty every day, but for the agent, probably managing a few dozen properties, your tenancy might not feature in their thoughts very often at all. This is exactly why OpenRent prefers to allow tenants and landlord have a direct relationship.

      If you still have your landlord’s contact details, it worth sending them a message. Otherwise, you could literally print out your old agreement but with the dates changed, sign it, and then take it over to the agent’s office and say “Here we go, just sign here” and it’s all done.

      It’s likely that they are trying to charge you or the landlord some fee over the new tenancy and that could be the reason for the delay. Or it could be the general slowness that adding a third party to a tenancy often causes.

      The best thing to do now is to keep chasing the agent and message the landlord at the same time if possible. Best of luck with this frustrating, all-too-common scenario!

  91. Hi there,

    I had a three month contract agreement that ends tomorrow and I want to stay in my property for an extra month only. However, my contract has a term saying the agreement shall continue for the initial term and automatically be extended for 3 months at the end of the initial term.
    They told me that since I didn’t give a month’s notice before the Initial Term ended ,I have to stay and pay rent for another 3 months.
    Is this legal or I am allowed to leave when I choose?
    I already payed this month(May) and gave them 1 month’s notice that I want to leave at the end of this month, but they tell me that I have to pay the remaining two months or a cancellation fee of 1800 pounds to leave.

    1. Hi Christos, I’m assuming your contract is an AST, despite being only 3 months long. If you have a short term let contract then both parties have different rights and responsibilities.

      In general, it’s unusual for a tenant’s notice period to be 3 months. It’s certainly a non-standard clause and may end up being unenforceable if it came to a court or deposit dispute resolution. The standard tenants notice period is one month.

      I’d recommend getting in touch with Shelter as they can advise you best on how to proceed here.

      Sam

  92. Hi. I exited my tenancy around 3-4 weeks early however notified the estate agent and landlord and agreed if we couldn’t find replacement tenants I would pay the outstanding month. They were happy with the arrangement as they could put the rent up. They found tenants and agreed I would pay the 5 days in between me moving out and the new tenants moving in which I did. Now a month later whilst arranging for the deposit to be sent back to me, the agents have informed me I have to pay £112 in ‘landlord fees’. Apparently this is fees that go to the estate agent however they aren’t written anywhere, I haven’t been notified over the phone or writing until today. Is this something I have to legally pay? I can’t see how I’m being charged for something I was never made aware of, especially when I specifically asked about any extra fees etc.

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Charlotte, if this is being deducted from your tenancy deposit, then you can challenge the deduction. The deposit scheme will have an independent dispute resolution service that can arbitrate between you and the agent/landlord. I don’t know all the details of your case, but it seems like you would have a strong case if this fee had not been mentioned anywhere.

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