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What happens at the end of a fixed term tenancy?

Phi Spencer

By Phil Spencer

If you’re reaching the end of your fixed term tenancy agreement, you might be wondering what to do next.

There are many options open to you, including renewing your tenancy agreement. Read on to learn more about what happens at the end of a fixed term tenancy.

End of tenancy agreement

As you approach the end of your fixed term tenancy agreement – it’s decision time. As long as your landlord hasn’t served you notice to leave the property, there are three potential options open to you.  

1. Move on

If you’ve decided it’s time to move on when your tenancy ends, you will need to serve your landlord notice in line with what’s stipulated in your tenancy agreement.

If you have a two-month notice clause in your lease, there’s nothing to stop you serving notice with three months left, if you already know you want to leave. The common mistake is to leave it too late! Even if you think you wish to leave, make a diary note for one week before the required threshold to prompt you to serve notice.

The lease will usually stipulate how notice should be served. However, always put your notice in writing so there’s no room for misunderstanding. If you send it by post, allow two additional days on top of the required notice period.

2. Continue living in the property

If your rental agreement expires and you remain living in the property, without a new agreement being put in place, the tenancy agreement will automatically continue on what is termed a ‘periodic tenancy’.

A periodic tenancy is linked to how often you pay your rent, so if you pay monthly, your tenancy agreement rolls over monthly. You continue to live in the property under the same terms and conditions as you did previously.

If you move onto this tenancy agreement, the lettings agency cannot charge you for drawing up a new tenancy agreement, as technically you’re still on the old agreement. If they do, complain about it.

Ending a periodic tenancy is much easier. However, be aware that the inverse also applies. Although, the landlord still must serve at least two months’ notice to the end of a rental period.

3. Renew your fixed term tenancy

If you wish to stay on and the landlord wants to review the tenancy agreement, some renegotiation can be possible. Be prepared that the landlord may look to increase the rent.

You don’t have to agree to any change of terms, so don’t sign the lease until you’re completely happy with all amendments to the tenancy agreement.

The chief benefit of a new tenancy agreement is that you will enjoy security of tenure for the new fixed term.

Cost of tenancy renewal

When the lease is renewed, the lettings agency will usually charge you a ‘renewal fee’. It should be published by the letting agency and is usually non-negotiable.

However, it never hurts to have a little go at negotiating. After all, you renewing your contract means less work for the agent and saves the landlord finding a new tenant. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

The benefits of tenancy renewal

The chief benefit of a new tenancy agreement is that you will enjoy security of tenure for the new fixed term.

Also, you don’t have to cover costly moving expenses at the end of tenancy.

Moving on?

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