Renting 101: What Happens at the End of a Fixed-Term Tenancy?
When it comes to renting a property, the hard work doesn’t stop once you’ve found your perfect home. By its very nature, a tenancy lasts for a fixed amount of time, and although this doesn’t mean that you’ll be turfed out as soon as it ends, it does mean that there are a lot of things to think about once your agreement lapses.
A lot of people find this process very confusing. They’re unsure of their options, with regards to both keeping their property and moving on from it. Luckily, we’re here to help. If you need some information on exactly what happens at the end of a tenancy, read on to find out more…
Decide What You Want to Do
Before your tenancy ends, it’s very important to think about what you want to do going forwards. You have two options open to you: you can leave the property and find somewhere else, or you can stay. Depending on which one you choose, the process you’ll need to follow will vary.
What Happens if You Decide to Leave?
If you decide to leave, the steps that you’ll need to take will be dependent upon the terms of your contract. In most cases, you’ll need to give your landlord or letting agent notice, and the specifics of this should be outlined in your tenancy agreement. This will not always be the case, however, and in some instances you’ll simply be able to up and leave on the last day of your tenancy without taking any action to notify your landlord or letting agent. Again, this should be covered within an agreement between you and the concerned party, so check the terms and any small print in order to clarify your obligations.
What Happens if You Decide to Stay?
The procedure is very different for those who choose to stay. If you fall into this category, you’ll find that you have two options open to you: signing a new fixed-term agreement, or changing your tenancy to a rolling contract.
If you choose the former, you’ll need to discuss the specifics of this with your landlord or letting agent. It is best to specify the terms of your new agreement in writing, as this will safeguard all parties if any sort of disagreement or unpleasantness should arise. Be aware that none of the terms of your former contract will still stand (unless the parties are willing to renew them).
Alternatively, you could choose to replace your former tenancy agreement with a rolling contract, also known as a ‘periodic tenancy’. This agreement rolls over on either a weekly or monthly basis, giving you far more flexibility with regards to a notice period, yet fewer rights with regards to the terms of your contract, the notice period you’ll need to be served, and your power to contest rental increases. Although you’ll have less control over the terms of your agreement, however, it’s still useful to discuss your hopes with your landlord in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
If your rental agreement is coming to an end, what will you choose to do?