Find out about your options at the end of a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy.
Understand your options
Many private tenancies start as fixed term assured shorthold tenancies.
Your 3 options at the end of a fixed term are:
- sign a renewal agreement for a new fixed term
- let it become a rolling or periodic tenancy
- leave the tenancy
Your tenancy will usually end automatically if you leave by the last day of the fixed term. Some contracts say you have to give notice so check your agreement.
Discuss the options with the other tenants named on your agreement.
It's usually more straightforward if everyone wants to leave or everyone wants to stay.
A joint tenancy won't end if any joint tenants stay past the end of the fixed term, unless a new agreement is in place. You could be liable for rent even if you leave.
Contact from your landlord
Your landlord or agent may contact you during the tenancy to check if you intend to stay on when the fixed term ends.
Your landlord may have a preferred option. But they:
- can't insist that you sign a renewal agreement
- can't make you leave without following the legal eviction process
Don't feel pressured into leaving or signing a new agreement.
You can decide what's best for you by understanding the options before you respond.
A renewal agreement is a new contract, usually for another fixed term.
The tenancy terms may not be exactly the same as your current fixed term tenancy.
Before you sign, check important things like the:
- length of the fixed term
You can negotiate with the landlord if there's anything you're unhappy with.
Once you've both agreed to a new fixed term, it's binding on you and the landlord.
Unless there's a break clause, you won't be able to give notice during the contract and your landlord can't use the section 21 eviction process.
From 1 June 2020, you can't be charged a fee for a renewal agreement even if your existing agreement says you can.
Rolling or periodic tenancies
A periodic tenancy is the legal name for a rolling tenancy with no specific end date.
It's a good option if you don’t want to be tied into a new fixed term. For example, if you plan to move out soon but not yet.
You can usually end a periodic tenancy by giving your landlord 1 month's notice.
Your tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy automatically if you stay past the end of the fixed term without a renewal agreement.
A joint tenancy becomes periodic if any of the tenants stay on, unless there's a new agreement in place.
A periodic tenancy continues on the same terms and you should pay your rent as normal. It will roll monthly or weekly depending how often your rent was due during the fixed term.
Your landlord can only increase the rent with your agreement or by giving you notice of the increase on a special form.
You can be evicted more easily from a periodic tenancy but the landlord must follow the legal process and this takes time.
Leaving at the end of the fixed term
Many tenancies end automatically if you leave by the last day of the fixed term.
Some contracts continue as periodic tenancies after the fixed term unless you give notice to say you're leaving.
Check your contract before the fixed term ends to see if you have to give notice and how much notice you should give.
It’s a good idea to tell your landlord that you plan to leave even if it's not mentioned in your agreement.
Leaving before the end of the fixed term
Your tenancy won't end automatically if you move out during a fixed term tenancy.
You may be able to end your fixed term tenancy early with a break clause, or through negotiation with your landlord.
Last updated 05 June 2020 | © Shelter
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