When approaching the end of your fixed-term tenancy, you’ll have a number of options.
Firstly, you may want to leave the property, and if you do, you’ll most likely have to give your landlord or letting agent notice that you wish to do so. The specifics surrounding this process and the notice period you need to give should be outlined in your tenancy agreement.
However, you may also find that your agreement says you can leave on the last day of your fixed-term tenancy without having to give any notice.
So what do you do if you wish to continue living in your current property? You’ll have two choices at this stage: either sign a new fixed-term agreement or continue your tenancy on a rolling monthly basis.
Signing up for a new fixed-term agreement
If you want a new fixed-term tenancy, you need to ask your landlord or letting agent for a new agreement. It’s advisable to do this in writing and detail exactly how long you wish to stay in the property – typically six or twelve months.
There are several advantages for tenants in choosing this option. Like your previous agreement, it can provide you with financial security in knowing exactly when and what your rental payments will be for the length of the contract. Furthermore, you’ll also give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that you have a guaranteed place to live during this time.
You should be aware that your landlord may wish to increase the rent for the new agreement term, and there may be renewal fees to pay. There are opportunities for you to negotiate with them, though, or at least reach a compromise over the costs. This is because the overall expense of having to let the property again to somebody else could end up being much more costly for your landlord or letting agent in the long run.
You can find out more about dealing with rental increases on Shelter’s website.
A rolling contract
This is where your tenancy rolls over on a monthly or, in some cases, weekly basis. This is also known as a ‘periodic tenancy’, which automatically starts when your original agreement expires and you don’t sign a new one, but continue to live in the property.
Again, this comes with both positives and negatives to consider. One advantage is it offers you more flexibility for giving notice to move out of the property when you want to – without having to wait until the end of the fixed period. You also won’t face any potential renewal fees, which could be a considerable saving. On the other hand, your landlord is within their rights to increase the rent during this time or give you notice to vacate the property if and when they want you to move out.
Whatever option you decide, what’s important is clarity amongst all concerned parties about your plans. By making your intentions clear, you avoid confusion and miscommunication, making the whole process much more straightforward and easy to manage.