Do I Have To Sign A New Tenancy Agreement?

Sign New Tenancy Agreement

When a tenancy agreement has expired or is due to expire shortly, it’s common for landlords to arrange for a new tenancy agreement to be agreed upon and signed, sometimes with new terms (e.g. new rent rate).

So I just want to quickly run through a few of the FAQs I often come across when tenants and landlords are in this situation…

FYI, I’m going to write this from the perspective of a tenant, but it should also give landlords an insight on their position.

Do I have to sign a new tenancy agreement?

In short, no.

No one can force anyone to sign a new tenancy agreement, although there are consequences to this decision, which should come as no surprise.

What happens if I [the tenant] don’t sign a new tenancy agreement?

If a new tenancy agreement is not signed after the fixed term expires – and you remain the occupant – the tenancy will automatically roll into a periodic tenancy.

What this essentially means is that the terms and conditions that applied during the fixed term tenancy still apply, the only difference now is that the tenancy is on a rolling contract, which is based on the frequency the rent was contracted to be paid.

For example, if rent is paid on a monthly basis (which is usually the case), the tenancy agreement will roll onto a monthly rolling contract.

As a landlord, I usually always let my fixed term tenancies roll into a periodic tenancy. I find it much more flexible for all parties involved. Never had an issue before.

Will the tenancy agreement automatically terminate if I don’t sign a new tenancy agreement?


This is a common misconception.

I’ve kind of already answered this question previously, but I do want to make it clear that tenancy agreements don’t automatically terminate, they need to be actively terminated by either tenant or landlord following proper procedures.

To terminate a tenancy, a landlord or tenant needs to give proper notice (or come to a mutual agreement). If that does not happen, the tenancy will NOT automatically terminate after the fixed term expires, the tenancy will – as discussed – automatically roll onto a periodic tenancy.

To illustrate my point, if you have a fixed term tenancy agreement that expires on 24th March 2025, the landlord will not have grounds for automatic possession of the property on that date if they have NOT given you official written confirmation with at least two months notice.

I’ve written a separate blog post covering the different ways a tenancy can be terminated.

What happens if I [the tenant] don’t agree to the new terms of the tenancy agreement?

9 out of 10 times, this happens when there’s a proposed rent increase.

Basically, you feel the increase is unjust, and therefore you’re not prepared to sign the new tenancy agreement.

First and foremost, landlords are entitled to increase rent, but as per the Gov guidelines, it must be done the right way:

  • your landlord must get your permission if they want to increase the rent by more than previously agreed
  • the rent increase must be fair and realistic, which means in line with average local rents

If you feel you have a legit case for disputing the rent increase on unfair grounds, I’ve written a separate blog post on how to dispute rent increases.

In this case, I personally think the best approach is to first and foremost have an honest conversation with your landlord and see if it’s possible to negotiate the rate. Most decent landlords value good tenants, so they will do their best to keep them happy (of course, this is dependent on whether you and your landlord are reasonable humans on good terms).

If you’re reluctant to sign a new tenancy agreement for other reasons, I’d love to know why, so please leave a comment below.

Can I be evicted if I don’t sign a new tenancy agreement?

Unfortunately, yes.

But, actually, landlords do not need a reason to repossess their home after the fixed terms have expired (so the repossession won’t be exclusive to you refusing to sign the new tenancy agreement). They can serve a Section 21 “no-fault” possession notice. In other words, “the fixed term has expired, and now I [the landlord] would like my property back.”

If you don’t sign a new tenancy agreement, landlords can utilise Section 21 to terminate the tenancy after the fixed terms if they choose to (obviously, subject to appropriate notice period).

So if you’re after security, then signing a new tenancy agreement with fixed terms is one way to do it.

Hope this helps.

Oh, and BTW, please don’t forget to read my “I’m not a legal professional” disclaimer below :)

If you have any further questions, please feel to drop a comment and I’ll do my best to give you my thoughts.

Landlord out xo

6 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Penny 27th September, 2023 @ 16:10

Hi, my landlord wants me to sing a new fixed term tenancy and removed the break clause. I asked for it to be put back in and the break clause now telecast that the notice to be given is the term of tenancy.
I am reluctant to sign it? I’m ok with rent increase but believe it’s fair for us both to have an out.

What are your thoughts on this?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 27th September, 2023 @ 20:57

Hi Penny,

There isn't really a right or wrong answer. It's hard to give you my thoughts, to be honest, because there are so many variables in play, such as:

1) how long I have lived there for
2) do I see myself living there for the foreseeable future?
3) What is the landlord like?
4) How much will it cost to move if I don't sign?
5) How long is the fixed term for?
6) Do I want to move? Or at least mind moving?

Maybe answering those questions will help you find the answer you're looking for?

Whether a break clause is fair or not subjective I guess, because just as equally, either party could argue that the security of not having one is also fair.

Guest Avatar
James 20th October, 2023 @ 08:49

My 12 months contract is about to expire. I wanted to negotiate another 12 months. This was done and offered. Small rent increase (fine) however landlord wanted to add a break clause due to family circumstances as they have a sick member of the family (house owned by father, seems if he does kids want to sell)
However this break clause also increases my notice period from 1 month to 2 so worried it will make it hard to secure another property when. The inevitable happens.

To make matters worse me and my partner are expecting a baby any day now (she is full term).

I just don't know what to do. I wanted security. But feel the new agreement gives the landlord security but us nothing and makes it hard to look at moving on if we ourselves ha e to give 2 months notice rather than the statutory one.

Effectively the new 12 month agreement is really no more than 4 month onto a rolling contract with increased rent and increased obligations.

I'm considering refusing to sign and moving onto the rolling. Although I would agree to pay the increase in rent just not agreeable to the terms stated in the break clause.

Guest Avatar
Teresa 4th November, 2023 @ 17:35

My landlord is selling commercial premises that I rent.
It has become too expensive and I am tied in for almost six years yet with no break clause.
Can I refuse to sign up with the new landlord and can I quit the tenancy? I pay £670 rent monthly for a large space and hopefully can downsize and pay less.

Guest Avatar
Billie 16th December, 2023 @ 21:52


We have renewed our tenancy agreement at the beginning of December, however, our landlord hasn't signed the contract so we haven't been able to.
Does this mean we can leave without notice / landlord can kick us out?

Weve had an email saying the contract has been sent to the landlord but haven't got anything back. So we're not sure if we're safe. They also want us to pay the increased rent but we have said we will pay it when we have the signed contract.

What should we do?

Thank you.

Guest Avatar
Bogdan 22nd January, 2024 @ 22:12

Hi there!
This is a very insightful article indeed. Thank you for sharing this very important info. And since you expressed your curiosity in the article about several other possible reasons not to accept the signing of a new contract, apart from a rent increase, here's mine below:

After I have just agreed to an increase in my rent, the agency which represents the landlord sent me a new contract to sign and they just informed me there will be a subsequent increase in me deposit, which I would have to pay as a one off when my next rent payment is due. I do not accept this for several reasons (one of them being both rent increase and the deposit increase have been communicated to me only 3-4 weeks before the current contract expires) and I want to kindly ask you, if I refuse to sign the new contract and subsequently my agreement switches into a periodic one, would I basically risk to receive another rent increase literally anytime (with 2 months notice)? Would I also risk to be kicked out anytime within this notice, even though I've been a perfect tenant and the landlord would have no reason to do that? What is the best approach in refusing this deposit increase?

Thanks a lot in advance,

















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