Rent contract renewal - Advice needed

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    Rent contract renewal - Advice needed

    Hi all,

    I have been renting a property for 2 years, each time with a 12 month contract. We are just coming to the end of our 2nd 12 month contract. Due to another increase in rent, we are not comfortable signing another 12 month contract incase we decide to move somewhere more affordable. Our landlord is only offering a 12 month rather than a monthly rolling contract. Are we obliged to sign another 12 month if we want to stay, or can we specify we only want month by month for now?

    Any advice would be great


    If you stay beyond your 12 months fixed term a statutory periodic tenancy will automatically arise under section 5 of the Housing Act 1988.

    The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.


      Assuming you have an assured shorthold tenancy in England/Wales, the situation is as follows:

      • You are totally free to refuse to sign a new fixed term contract.

      • If you are in occupation at fixed term expiry, then a statutory periodic tenancy (SPT) will automatically arise (a.k.a. a rolling contract), i.e. the tenancy will continue. You don't need the LL's agreement for a SPT to arise, and you don't need to specify that you want it; it happens by law, under s.5 HA1988.

      • The LL cannot evict you/end the tenancy without serving proper notice and obtaining a possession order, a procedure which takes several months.

      • The LL may serve a s.21 notice at any time seeking possession and apply for a possession order following expiry of the notice, and a s.21 notice doesn't need to give any grounds for seeking possession. (N.B. The LL cannot obtain a possession order under s.21 to take effect during a fixed term, but he may succeed in obtaining one under s.8, most usually on the grounds of unpaid rent).

      • The LL may serve a s.13 notice increasing the rent after the AST becomes periodic; and whilst you may appeal to a rent committee, a fair increase is likely to be enforceable.

      • You don't need to give notice to end the tenancy at the end of the current fixed term; if you vacate on or before the last day, the tenancy (and your liability for rent) ends on that date.

      • If a SPT arises after fixed term expiry, you will then be obliged to serve notice to quit if you wish to end the tenancy; it must be at least a month and expire at the end of a tenancy period.


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