Periodic Tenancies Explained, Including The Advantages & Disadvantages

Periodic Tenancies

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What is a Statutory Periodic Tenancy?

An assured shorthold tenancy automatically becomes a “periodic tenancy” if new contracts aren’t signed after the fixed-terms expire in the original Tenancy Agreement and the same tenant(s) remain in the property. When this happens, the tenancy will continue due to statute, and technically a new tenancy begins, but all the same terms and conditions apply, but the only difference is that the contract becomes periodic, otherwise known as a ‘rolling’ contract, which typically runs on a month-by-month period.

The “period” is dependent on how frequently the rent is paid. For example, if the rent is paid on a PCM (Per Calendar Month) basis, which is most often the case, then the contract will run on a month-by-month basis (unlike fixed term contracts, which most commonly run for 12 months). Same principle applies if the rent is paid on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If the tenant paid six months’ worth of rent up front, then the period of the tenancy will reflect this last payment (so it will be a six month periodic tenancy).

Many people assume that as soon as a tenancy expires (e.g. the fixed date has come to an end/passes) that the tenancy automatically terminates. That is not the case.

Most tenancies today are assured shorthold tenancies, so in most situations where tenants stay on after the end of the fixed term, they will have a statutory periodic tenancy.

What is a Contractual Periodic Tenancy?

A “Contractual periodic tenancy” is slightly different to a “Statutory periodic tenancy”

A contractual periodic tenancy exists when both landlord and tenant agree in contract that the tenancy will become a periodic tenancy after the fixed term, as opposed to allowing it to naturally roll into a periodic tenancy. And unlike a “Statutory periodic tenancy”, a “Contractual periodic tenancy” does not start a new tenancy, but continues from the previous fixed tenancy.

It can be a contractual periodic tenancy in three ways:

  • 1) By making it clear in the original tenancy agreement that the tenancy will become a “contractual periodic tenancy” after the fixed period (the word “contractual” should be stated).
  • 2) By getting the tenant to sign a periodic tenancy agreement when the fixed term contract is shortly due to expire.
  • 3) It is possible to start a tenancy with a periodic tenancy rather than a fixed term of 6 months or 12 months. You can do this by giving the tenant an initial term of just one month (or a week) and then just allowing it to run on. However, bear in mind you cannot serve notice to the tenant for at least 6 months, because they are still protected by their statutory rights which stipulates a shorthold tenancy cannot be shorter than 6 months. This can only be overturned if there is a mutual agreement by the landlord and tenant for the tenancy to end.

When this is done, the tenancy does not end, but continues (assuming the tenants don’t move out) on a periodic basis, as set out in the agreement. Normally this will be for a monthly periodic tenancy.

One of the advantages of contractual periodic tenancies is that you can specify what the period of your periodic tenancy will be so this creates certainty.

When/how does a Statutory Periodic Tenancy begin?

To reconfirm, you don’t have to do anything to initiate a periodic tenancy.

Tenancies automatically become periodic immediately after the fixed date in the contract has expired and when new contracts aren’t signed. Neither landlord or tenant need to do anything.

What do I need to do when my tenancy becomes periodic?

Do I need to re-register my deposit if the tenancy becomes periodic?

This is a frequently asked question, so I’m going to quickly address it.

This article by TDS (tenancydepositscheme.com) says the following on the matter:

If the deposit is held in either TDS’ Insured or Custodial scheme, the deposit is protected until the tenancy ends. As the tenancy turning periodic does not indicate the end of the tenancy, then the deposit would not need to be re-protected provided the tenant(s), landlord(s), premise, and deposit scheme all remain the same. However, there may be different rules for other tenancy deposit protection providers.

Essentially, check with the provider you’re using to secure the deposit on whether you need to re-protect the deposit if the tenancy becomes periodic.

“How to Rent” Guide

Landlords in England should are required to serve tenants with a Government issued “How to Rent” Guide to tenants at the beginning of the tenancy. These guides are updated over time.

Contractual periodic tenancy: landlords do not need to check if there has been an update or serve any extra copies on the tenant..

Statutory periodic tenancy: if a new guide is issued from the one you already provided your tenant [at the beginning of the fixed term tenancy], you should provide your tenant with the latest version at the start of the periodic tenancy.

When/how does a Periodic Tenancy end?

Like any other type of tenancy, periodic tenancies should only be terminated through proper legal processes. A periodic tenancy will continue until it is terminated either by one of the following methods:

  • Mutual consent (i.e. when both landlord and tenant agree to terminate the tenancy)
  • Eviction by landlord (if there are grounds to to do)
  • Notice by tenant (the notice period will depend on how often rent is paid, as discussed above i.e. this is usually one month (rent paid monthly) or a minimum of 28 days when the rent is paid weekly)
  • Notice by landlord (a minimum of 2 months written notice must be given to tenant

Please go to the linked blog post to find out more on how to end/terminate a periodic tenancy.

What are the advantages of a Periodic Tenancy?

  • They allow flexibility e.g. if the landlord suddenly wants the property vacated, he/she can immediately serve a Section 21 Form – notice of possession, without having to wait for a fixed term to expire before the tenant has to vacate.
  • There’s no need to arrange another tenancy agreement, the clauses in the expired agreement will still apply. Additionally, saving paper is awesome!
  • Many snake-oil letting agents charge a tenancy renewal fee for renewing contracts. So, if a landlord allows the contract to transform into a periodic tenancy, a new contract is not required, consequently often escaping the admin costs associated with the process.
  • If the landlord wants to be greedy and increase rent, or add any additional clauses to the contract, he can do so pretty sharpish, providing that the periodic tenancy is terminated and a new agreement is put in place. Since the period of a periodic tenancy depends upon the rent payment schedule, it doesn’t take long for any of the new clauses to be added since most rent is paid on a monthly basis.
  • Finally, the biggest advantage in my opinion, which makes periodic tenancies incredibly useful; it’s a lot quicker and easier to remove rogue tenants during a periodic tenancy i.e. Landlords can serve a Section 21 to regain possession, and providing that it’s been served correctly, the eviction process is usually a lot more efficient than serving a Section 8 Eviction notice.

What are the disadvantages of a Periodic Tenancy?

  • As I already experienced in a harsh life lesson, putting good tenants on periodic tenancies is risky because they can unexpectedly vacate pretty quickly.
  • Tenants typically only need to give one month’s notice when they’re on a periodic tenancy, which may not allow a comfortable amount of time for the landlord to find new tenants if the current tenant gives minimal notice. The issue can become extra stressful if the property requires cosmetic work in order to attract new tenants.
  • Over the years, new regulations have been passed through into the BTL industry (e.g. Tenancy Deposit Scheme). These new regulations should be mentioned in the tenancy agreement as statutory clauses. Point being, if you allow a contract to continually be periodic for a long period of time, it can slowly become out of date. It’s important to keep tenancy agreements inline with the law, so the T&C’s are always clear in black and white.
  • Finding new tenants can be expensive, so if you’re a landlord that prefers using 6 months fixed term agreements, and always allows the tenancy to go periodic, you’re leaving a big window of opportunity for a high tenant turnover rate. It can often be more cost-effective to fix tenants for long term. Of course, that’s largely dependent on your own judgement to decide on whether you have good tenants or not that are worth the commitment.

Conclusion

I know many landlords, including myself, favour periodic tenancies because of the flexibility. I generally like things to dangle and have wiggle room :) But it’s important for landlords to remember that the flexibility also applies to tenants. Once the tenancy becomes periodic, tenants have the ability to vacate quickly, and leave the landlord with a lot of work to do in a short space of time, especially if the property needs to be repaired in order to become presentable. Finding good tenants isn’t always the easiest, cheapest or quickest of processes.

So, my question to my fellow landlords, do you allow tenancies to go periodic? Do you have any kind of game plan when it comes to contracts?

191 Join the Conversation...

Showing 141 - 191 comments (out of 191)
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MdeB 20th August, 2018 @ 18:45

@Fifi 140

It depends on what your contract with the agent says.
If you cannot find it, then ask the agent for a photocopy of what you signed.

It also depends on the term granted in the tenancy agreement.

1) If the term is of the form "X months and then continuing monthly" then the tenancy continues.
2) If the term is of the form "X months", then the tenancy ends at the end of the term and either becomes a new statutory periodic tenancy (if no new agreement is signed) or a new tenancy 9if a new agreement is signed).

So, if your agent agreement says "pay for the duration of the tenancy" and case 2 above applies, then in my opinion you do not have to pay if the tenant stays (but you might if you allow the agent to issue a new tenancy agreement).

If your agreement says something like "pay whilst tenant introduced by agent resides in the property" or "pay for the duration of this and any subsequent tenancy with the tenant", then you MAY have to pay.
I have a recollection that paying indefinitely for tenant find was found to be an unfair term. I think it may have been if it extended beyond 2 years; if so, then this may be a cynical attempt by agent to circumvent the finding (they issue a new contract and the 2 years starts again).

The addendum you quote has no bearing on the issue because it is about the ongoing management, not tenant find.

So, I suggest:
1. Do not let them pressure you into agreeing that they will issue a new tenancy agreement; tell them that you need to consider your options before making a decision.
2. Find out exactly what the contract says. Do not let them explain it to you, as they will put their spin on it. But ask if there are any further tenant-find charges; they may say "no"!
3. Decide what options you have and what the implications for each are.
options may include:
- terminate agreement and manage it yourself.
- terminate agreement and find another managing agent.
- let agent issue a new fixed-term contract (but beware of long term if they are charging finder fee up-front based on the duration)
- allow tenancy to become periodic.
4. Decide what you want and negotiate with them to get a deal.
e.g. they may want further tenant find fee, but you may be able to talk them out of it by suggesting you will take your management business elsewhere.
Make sure you negotiate with someone who can make a deal, not a junior person.

5. I would also suggest posting the question of "how long can agent charge for finding a tenant" on the LandlordZone Residential Letting forum; there are people there who have greater knowledge of the law than me.

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MdeB 20th August, 2018 @ 18:50

@Fifi 140

Also
1. Ask the agent why it was a 23 month tenancy and not 24 months as you believed they were issuing.
2. Remember that they work for you. If you instruct them to do or not do something then, as long as it is not illegal, they are obliged to follow your instruction.

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FiFi 20th August, 2018 @ 22:36

Can a well known letting agent continue to charge commission on finding a tenant, after the two year contract is over and needs renewing?

Lovely tenants want to renew.

I was recently told that the Assured shorthold, 2 year contract had expired at 23 months, a month earlier than imagined.... spotted by the new member of staff at the letting agents. I was also told that whatever contract I offer the tenant, i.e. a periodic/contractual periodic or another Assured shorthold (suggested by letting agent that we could somehow slip this in after having expired the original one at 23 months), because they found the tenant, I would be charged their fixed commission rate for the duration of the tenancy.

Unfortunately I can not find the original contract, just an addendum. In which one paragraph states: .... it is further agreed that the Letting, Renewal and Rent receipt service is x% + VAT for the

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Fifi 20th August, 2018 @ 22:58

To MdeB
Thank you for replying to my questions. Very kind.
The estate agent didn't call today and I was so busy that I had no time to call (school holidays etc). I will have to deal with this, although I don't like to rock the boat.

I believe as you pointed out the possibilities, that no.2 applies to me. However, although the contract is now out of date and a periodic tenancy has taken place (with no contract), I wonder what does the meaning 'tenancy' mean in the estate agent's case. As the tenants have not 'moved out'. They've actually gone on holiday, as of last weekend, but not moved out. It would certainly work in my favour if the end of the first 23 month contract that ended last week, meant that the tenancy had ended. But I think the estate agent will say that tenancy in this particular case means 'still occupying the property' with a wish to continue to stay another year or two.

Hey ho.

I will ask them to send me a copy of the original full contract by email tomorrow.

I should ask the tenant what they would prefer in terms of contracts, as I have a feeling that they themselves have forgotten that they may have stipulated 23 months at the outset. I wonder if I can offer them another assured shorthand, or a contractual periodic. I don't want to scare them away, thinking that I could ask them to leave with only one months notice after the first 6 months have past.

Once I understand better where I stand - although the junior estate agent has said to me that I will need to continue to pay for the duration until they leave, as they have found the tenants and I think he believed that the contract - that is now invalid, said so.

Let me see tomorrow.

I really appreciate that you took to time to write to me. Thank you.

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MdeB 20th August, 2018 @ 23:53

Fifi,

The contract you signed with the agent will still be valid; an agency contract is not linked to a tenancy.

I can understand not wanting to scare off tenants, so I agree with asking them what they want to do.

If the agent's contract with you refers only to the initial tenancy and not to any follow-on, then I would argue that Housing Act 1988 says that the tenancy ends at the end of the fixed term, and anything that follows is a new tenancy, and that is what you understood by the clause.

Also, when you get the contract copy (making sure it has your signature and is not their latest standard contract), find out what the termination clause is and post back here, please; it may be unfair in law.

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Fifi 22nd August, 2018 @ 14:37

MdeB,

I've received the Terms of Business and by reading it, I think the estate Agent has covered all angles, so I will be obliged to pay them (ad infinitum it seems, there is not end to it) commission through any change of any tenancy agreement that follows on from this one. Sadly. I'm finding it impossible to cut and paste it, so I'm going to type it up for you word for word, leaving out the name of the estate agents and replacing it with (X). If you think there is a get out clause here somewhere, or a way to ever stop the continues payment then please do share. Thank you.

Here goes......

" By this agreement the Landlord is appointing (X) to find a person who will take the Tenancy of the Premises for at least an initial minimum period (or "Term"). The Landlord and (X) hope that such a Tenant will wish to continue in occupation after that minimum Term and will renew the letting, and as described below, (X) will try to secure this continued occupation. IN BOLD...... The Landlord agrees to pay (X) a commission for its services for which commission will be payable, not only in respect for the initial minimum Term, but also for any renewed letting and whether or not (X) has been involved in or helped secure such a renewal"

I've checked the Termination clause and they have this tied up neatly too!

Termination of Appointment

"You or we may at any time terminate our appointment by giving not less than 28 days prior written notice. Such notice given by either party does not affect our right to receive payment of our continuing charges as detailed under this Agreement including any extended or periodic Tenancy.

Either Party may terminate this Appointment immediately upon giving notice in writing to the other party if(in the reasonable opinion of the terminating party) any one or more of the following events is likely to occur:

a) A party making any voluntary arrangements with its creditors, entering administration or going into liquidation; or
b) A security holder taking possession, or a receiver or administrative receiver being appointments, over all or any part of the property or assets of a party; or
c) Any other similar or analogous event in any jurisdiction;
d) The other party commits a material breach of any part of these Terms of Appointment."

I'm guessing that I will need to thank you for all your suggestions of advice and I will regardless need to go ahead on this occasion and must be more careful in future, to negotiate clauses beforehand. They are naughty though as they only produce these documents once they have found a tenant and when both tenant and landlord really need to tie things up quickly to proceed.

I'm just wondering if there is ever an end to infinite commission by estate agents, in law.

Thank you MdeB.

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MdeB 22nd August, 2018 @ 18:51

@Fifi:

Those clauses appear to have it watertight, but that does not mean they are fair.

I still think you should follow my suggestion 5 at #141, because that will get more brains on it and they may see angles that I have not. There is at least one lawyer who posts on there as well as many knowledgeable landlords and tenants.

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Zad 26th August, 2018 @ 23:17

Hi,

Please can I have some advice on Section 21 notice.

I was initially served Section 21 notice; however, during the notice period, the property was sold to an investor buyer who wanted us to continue renting. New terms and conditions were discussed and 6-12 months tenancy period was verbally agreed with the new landlord through the letting agent and we were told the new contractual document will be issued in due course.

However, on completion of 2 months notice period, a statutory periodic tenancy continuation letter was issued by the agent. This letter had specific clause that 'your landlord is still required to serve not less than two months’ notice in writing'.

We were then told the deal fell through and the property is being put back in the market to find another suitable buyer.
We were verbally advised if it is going to be an investor buyer, they might want us to stay and continue our tenancy at the property. We were verbally told a new Section 21 notice will be issued when a new byer will make an offer.

About 5 weeks later we were told the property has been sold and the original Section 21 notice issued more than 3 months ago is still valid, and the landlord has the right to initiate legal proceeding to take the possession of the property.

We were told this is the case despite clear written clause in the Periodic tenancy document that the landlord is required to serve 2 months' notice. the agent said, he does not remember any verbal conversation with respect to issuance of a new Section 21 notice.

Please can someone advice on this.

Thank you.
A

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MdeB 29th August, 2018 @ 08:58

@Zad,

I believe that the new landlord takes over exactly what the original landlord had, and therefore the S21 notice issued by original landlord would still be valid; but someone like Citizens' Advice or Shelter would be better placed to advise.

The purpose of the S21 would be to allow the existing landlord to gain possession if the buyer wants to live in the property; it is likely that a landlord-buyer would want to keep a good tenant, as replacement (in my experience) is costly and stressful.

If your last tenancy agreement was signed after October 2015, then I believe that a S21 notice has a validity of 6 months (i.e. if the landlord does not start court proceedings within 6 months of issue (4 months or less from the "possession required after" date in the notice), then he must issue a new S21 notice to gain possession).

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Zad 29th August, 2018 @ 11:05

@MdeB

Thank you, very helpful.

However, what is the status of the written clause in the Periodic term tenancy confirmation letter that 'the landlord is still required to serve 2 months' notice in writing'. This letter was issued after the expiry of 2 months' deadline stated in the original S21 notice. Will this be taken into consideration if the agent decided to take matter further. Thank you Zad

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MdeB 30th August, 2018 @ 23:54

@Zad

I would interpret the clause as being a statement of law (in a statutory periodic tenancy, the LL must give at least 2 months' notice), but the law also says that a S21 notice issued during the fixed term is effective for a subsequent spt.

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Fifi 3rd September, 2018 @ 21:44

To MdeB (re 147)

A huge thank you for your advice and time you spent on replying to my questions. I don't know who you are or why you do this, but it was so good to have someone just listen and offer up suggestions. Thank you.

In the meantime, I have continued to have some dialogue with both the tenants, asking them what they prefer vis a vis a new contract and also with the Estate Agents, sharing my thoughts that it seems rather unfair if their commission charge will continue to remain as high ad infinitum until the tenant moves out. I mentioned that once my tenants do move out, I may be obliged to choose different agents who will decrease their commission year by year etc if they do not want to negotiate this with me for new tenants. Well, to my surprise, they contacted me today to say that as a gesture of good will they will reduce the commission by 1/2% now that two years is over and the tenants which to remain for maybe another couple of years.

Feeling much better that I have managed to get them to reduce this slightly, as it feels as though they have made an effort.

Thank you again.
All the best

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Katalin 8th February, 2019 @ 22:10

I am not able to locate a periodic tenancy agreement form on this site. I trust this page so I’m reluctant to just download one from somewhere. Could anyone advise me on this? Thanks ps. I understand that a contract is not necessary but I prefer it so my tenant understands the terms...

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MdeB 8th February, 2019 @ 23:51

@Katalin #153:

Why would you want one?

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Katalin 9th February, 2019 @ 09:24

@MdeB, I would if it’s a trusted one please!

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MdeB 10th February, 2019 @ 01:01

@Katalin #155:
What I mean is I do not understand why you would want one.
What benefits do you think it would offer?

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MdeB 10th February, 2019 @ 10:27

However, the only difference between a periodic tenancy agreement and a 'normal' tenancy agreement is the definition of the term.

You need something like:

For a normal agreement: X months from and including

For a tenancy that becomes contractual periodic after initial term: X months from and including and continuing monthly thereafter until terminated in accordance with

For a tenancy that is contractual periodic from the start: monthly from and including until terminated in accordance with

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MdeB 10th February, 2019 @ 10:30

in #157, "including" should have been followed by an indication that the start date is required, but it was removed by the software. I will try again.

So "including" should read "including [date]"

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Katalin 10th February, 2019 @ 14:28

@MdeB thanks for your help. I misunderstood you the first time, sorry. My tenant is not the best one and also not the sharpest one. I want him to have it in writing that he’s on a month to month rolling contract and if he doesn’t pay (which has happened lots of time so far) he’ll be out with one month notice.

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MdeB 13th February, 2019 @ 00:45

Re #159:

It doesn't work that way.
The tenant can give one month notice, but LL still has to give 2 months notice via S21 notice AND S21 cannot be used during first 6 months since start of tenancy.

What you want is for tenancy to become statutory periodic (or contractual periodic, but it is too late for that now).

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Katalin 13th February, 2019 @ 08:01

I realised this in the meantime and I bit the bullet and told the tenant that I was wrong and we don’t need a new contract. So I’ll just let it slide into statutory periodic. Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

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C.A.E 13th August, 2019 @ 14:02

Hi,
I need some help and advice please.I'm a landlord and the first 2 years with my tenant we had an AST and the deposit was protected,but at the end of the second year we agreed to let the tenancy run between us as a "Rolling Contract" or [Periodic Tenancy as I now know]as the tenant wasn't sure of staying or any future plans etc..Suffice to say I lapsed the Deposit Protection and the periodic tenancy ran for a further 2 years!
The relationship with the tenant was absolutely fine throughout the 4 years and even up to exit, a months notice was given by the tenant the exit obligations were all met etc on both sides and the deposit was returned in full [£1400] albeit me mentioning that I had lapsed the deposit protection,still no problems.Now 10 weeks later I receive a letter before action [template] stating my failure to protect the deposit for the remaining year/s and pursuing me for up to 1 to 3 times the deposit amount!............Where do I stand?
Advice greatly appreciated asap.

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David 14th August, 2019 @ 07:01

@CAE

Please post to the correct blog post.

Cheers

David

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Jeany 30th August, 2019 @ 14:40

I have had the same tenant for 20 years. He has always been on housing benefit which has been received every 4 weeks in arrears. However, due to finances I now need to sell the property. I do feel for the tenant as he thought this was his forever home but my finances are forcing me to sell.

When the tenancy started the tenant paid a small deposit and had an assured shorthold tenancy, which obviously is now a periodic tenancy. Twenty years ago there was no such thing as securing the deposit, energy certificates or the issuing of the various forms/notices at the start of a tenancy.

Please clarify which section 21 form I need to issue.

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David 30th August, 2019 @ 16:52

@jeany

There is only one Section 21 form to be used, the 6a but you must make sure that is the version with reference to Tenant Fees Act, best place to get is is from the Gov website as some local authorities are advising tenants to reject 3rd party ones even thought they are legal is properly constructed

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/assured-tenancy-forms#form-6a

You will need to comply with the prerequisites shown on the front page of the form

I am afraid that although the Deposit Legislation started in April 2007, that does not necessarily mean you did not need to protect it later.

There have been a number of amnesties, case law impacts and the deregulation Act, it will all depend on the number of AST's the tenant had and when they went SPT, have a look at the pages below and feel free to contact me using the information shown on those pages.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/tenant-threatening-legal-action-tenancy-deposit/

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MdeB 30th August, 2019 @ 21:56

The following assumes that the tenancy IS an assured shorthold, and it became periodic before 6 April 2007.

You are not required to protect the deposit; there are no penalties for not having done so.
However, a valid S21 notice cannot be issued if you hold an unprotected deposit.
Your options are
1: return the deposit;
2: protect the deposit.
Then issue S21 notice (at least a day later).

"The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015" introduced requirements for:
- EPC
- GSC
- How to rent
However,section 1 says they apply ONLY to tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015 AND not to statutory periodic tenancies that arise following the end of a tenancy granted before 1 October 2015.
Therefore they are not relevant and it is not necessary to serve them.
BUT courts and tenant advisers may not understand this subtlety, so if you can serve them, then do so (and do not issue S21 notice until at least the next day).

The form of S21 notice to use is also open to debate.
The Government advice is that you do not need any special form for an old tenancy.
However, there is a subtle legal argument that says only the prescribed form is valid.
Therefore I would suggest using the prescribed form 6A.

BUT using form 6A may also confuse tenant advisers and judges, as it is written for tenancies that started after September 2015 (so it suggests that GSC, EPC and How to Rent must have been served before S21 is issued).

Given the potential for courts to mis-understand the requirements for an old tenancy (i.e. believe that the GSC, EPC and HtR requirements apply) and incorrectly reject your S21 notice, and my feeling that you are not familiar with the law or the legal processes, it may be advisable for you to engage a solicitor experienced in landlord and tenant law to guide you through the process and to make appropriate representations should the judge fail to appreciate the (lack of) requirements for a pre-2015 tenancy.

If the tenancy became periodic after 5 April 2007 and before 1 October 2015, then the approach is the same, but you were required to protect the deposit and you may be open to penalties for not protecting the deposit.

If the tenancy became periodic after September 2015, then the GSC, EPC, and How to Rent are mandatory and you will be open to penalties for not protecting the deposit). Also a GSC (if required for the property) must have been served before the periodic tenancy started; if not, then (subject to the result of an appeal scheduled for January 2020) you can never issue a valid S21 notice.

If the tenancy started before 1997, then it may be an assured tenancy. If it is an assured tenancy, then S21 cannot be used.

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Thea 17th October, 2019 @ 10:40

I didn’t update the information with mydeposits when my tenant moved beyond the 6 months of the agreement into a periodic tenancy. They are now saying the depost is un-protected and I have to put in a new protection, which will be late. My bad, they warned me but is this the case?

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The Landlord 18th October, 2019 @ 07:59

@Thea
Nope, you don't need to register the deposit. The answer to your question is here: https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/news/blog/asktds-do-i-have-to-re-register-my-deposits-every-year/

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shan 18th October, 2019 @ 15:44

Hi, we moved to the current property on 15/07/2018 and in February 2019 our landlord issued the section 21 and gave 2 months time to leave until 06/04/2019. but still now we haven't moved out. now we have received a defence form from the court to fill and send it back. Our assured tenancy agreement ended on 15/07/2019. We still keep paying rent every 14th. Now we have found a property which will be available to move out on 23rd of November 2019. Do we still need to give landlord 1 month notice ? If yes when we should give the notice to move out on 23rd of November?

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David 18th October, 2019 @ 17:50

@Shan

The terms of the SPT are identical to the preceding AST except in term and notice requirements, where you must give a months notice if you pay monthly.

However, considering that the Landlord has issued you with a notice to quit I am sure that you can arrange to leave of a mutually agreeable date.

I would say that it would be sensible to give your notice, next week on the 22nd October 2019, it at least means you can't be held for longer (assuming your payment period is monthly).

It may be that your Landlord's S21 was invalid, there are strict prerequisites such as deposit protection, Prescribed information, EPC, How to Rent document and Gas Safety done properly.

That is something I would be please to help you with via the forum private message as this is an open blog. This may be necessary to avoid you getting hit for costs and his Court fee if you do not have a valid defence.

IF you wish to contact me via the forum please use the instructions in post 703 on the page below

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

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Celiyah 20th March, 2020 @ 17:40

Hi

I am having serious issues with my landlord, I think I am in a periodic tenancy now as my fixed term ended.

How can I get In touch with you to explain my situation.

Kindest regards

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David 20th March, 2020 @ 19:49

If you wish to contact me via the forum please use the instructions in post 703 on the page below

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

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Matt 30th July, 2020 @ 15:31

I have recently purchased a property in England with sitting tenants. The tenants are on a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. Once I take over the property, I want to move them to a Fixed Term Tenancy of one year.

What kind of notice period, if any, do I need to give them to move them to Fixed Terms?

Thanks,

Matt

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David 30th July, 2020 @ 22:53

@Matt

There is very little benefit of moving them to a fixed term unless you are trying to get them onto an agreement with new terms.

To end the SPT, this is normally 2 months notice but currently due to the pandemic it is three.

You may find that the tenant prefers their current situation and you can propose a rent increase on an SPT.

You refer to the tenant as a sitting tenant, I recommend you check their protected rights if the tenancy is very old.

If the tenancy is pretty normal then the tenant may be happy to move to an AST as they are currently on 2 to 3 months notice and an AST might give them a year or 6 months assured tenancy.

With their consent you do not really need to give notice at all, just ask them if they are prepared to sign a new AST that ends and replaces the current tenancy (created in law when they did not leave at the expiry of the last AST).

If the deposit protection was not done properly for previous tenancies then they may think why not sign a new one on the off chance that it is another failure. If there was a failure to carry out a gas safety certification within 28 days of the SPT and the previous one had expired, then the tenant would be mad to agree as the fault cannot be rectifies and no S21 can ever be issued. So as long as there was no S8 grounds they cannot be evicted in such circumstances.

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ALandlord 18th September, 2020 @ 11:46

Hi

I need to get a definitive answer as to whether the agreement I made with a tenant, whilst still within their first fixed 6 month signed AST agreement period, for them to continue to remain in the property for a maximum of 3 months when the AST agreement date expired, would be classed as a 'contractual' periodic tenancy.

The key point I am trying to establish is that if our agreement did actually constitute a contractual periodic tenancy, as opposed to a statutory periodic tenancy, then a new tenancy did not start but it continued on from the previous 6 month fixed tenancy.

This agreement was confirmed by email only, there was no new signed agreement. The terms of notice were originally to remain as the fixed AST (more for the tenant's benefit) and rent amount did not alter.

The tenant, who was looking for another rental property, as her circumstances had changed, was not under any obligation/contracted to remain for the full 3 months.

When she mentioned that she may need to leave mid-way through the month to secure another property, we agreed to this requesting that she give us 7 days notice instead of a month. In addition, we even agreed to pay her back part of his final month's rent.

After reading the article published on this website, "Periodic Tenancies Explained", my view is that it was a contractual periodic tenancy.

I would be grateful to hear what you think on this matter and can provide more detail if required.

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Anna Vulliamy 28th September, 2020 @ 19:10

I have a query regarding the term of an AST 12 month tenancy agreement. If the AST 12 month agreement states it’s a 12 month agreement which starts on the 01/11/2020 shouldn’t it end on the 01/11/2021? The contract states it’s a 12 month with a start date 01/11/2020 and ends 31/10/2021, I always thought that the 12 months run and ends on the same day but you must vacate the property by 12noon. Can anyone help me understand this better or tell me I’m right.

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Floyd 6th December, 2020 @ 19:01

Great site by the way!

I am in the process of dispensing with the Letting Agents I have been using and as the current tenancy expires in a months time want to start managing my property myself.

The current tenant is exemplary and wants to continue staying in my property. He mentioned that he wouldn't mind me putting a 6-month break clause into my new tenancy agreement to ensure that I would get at least 6 months rent. Having read your advice that 'to be fully enforceable in law, break clauses need careful drafting with a high degree of legal expertise' I was considering simply issuing was going to simply issue a 6 month tenancy agreement and then in accordance with your item 1) make 'it clear in the original tenancy agreement that the tenancy will become a “contractual periodic tenancy” after the fixed period.

However as the tenant can be easily described as 'good' I don't really feel the need to have flexibility or to 'let things dangle and have wiggle room'! So if I was to simply issue a 12 month tenancy agreement what is the down side for me as a landlord? Shirley the tenant can still just give me a months notice anytime and vacate, or does the 12 months tenancy period mean he *has* to pay 12 months rent?

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Helen 11th January, 2021 @ 19:17

I agree that this is a great website.

I have a tenant who paid me upfront for a 12 month tenancy agreement. I would like to let the tenancy agreement go into a statutory periodic at the end of the tenancy in July 2021. I am however unsure what the 'period' will be given the tenant paid me 12 months rent upfront rather than month by month? Does the statutory periodic run on a month by month basis even though the rent was paid 12 months in advance? The tenancy agreement does state the rent is £XXX per month.

Many thanks
Helen

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Eric 12th January, 2021 @ 09:42

Hi Helen, once the fixed term expires and if you start accepting rent on a monthly basis then the periodic term will be month-by-month. If you accept another year up front, then obviously it will be like a 12 month fixed term again.

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Helen Smith 12th January, 2021 @ 11:30

Thank you Eric for your prompt and clear reply. Have a great day and keep safe.

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Jon 13th May, 2021 @ 10:21

Hi all

this is the first time I have posted and wondered if you can give me some advice, Where may I find "cut and paste" clauses written in solicitor language.

I really need to add the clause being discussed that allows landlord to insist on 2 months notice

I

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th May, 2021 @ 10:24

@Jon

I don't think you can enforce such a clause, even if it's written in the tenancy agreement. The minimum notice period is statutory law.

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David 13th May, 2021 @ 13:32

@Jon

Copy and Pasting additional terms to an existing tenancy is not a good idea because there are bound to be other terms that contradict the new term you are pasting.

I would advise you go back to your own Solicitor and ask them to draft you a "contractual periodic tenancy" so that the tenancy continues after a defined "initial term" until cancelled formally by break clauses, which themselves have the 2 month allowance you are seeking.

The Solicitor will need to fully examine all clauses that may affect the new terms to make sure that they do not introduce a vagueness that may require interpretation by a Judge and not go your way. Overall the contract needs to be equal to all parties, so you can't have any position (e.g. arrears) that mean you need to give less notice.

Also note that you can't change common law, i.e. what happens if a periodic tenancy is created.

If I were a tenant and unhappy with contractual periodic I would just give notice to end the tenancy but not leave, that would then create an SPT in law. The same applies if you activate a break clause, if they do not leave, an SPT is still created if they do not leave. So some might think it is a waste of time to bother changing the tenancy.

What most landlords do is put in unenforceable terms, because they know tenants are often ignorant of the law. However, they only have to speak to the Council housing dept or shelter or do a bit of googling to establish the facts. Any term that goes against common law is deemed an unfair contract term and if the contract is not defined well may invalidate other terms.

To be honest most landlords are more worried about how many months they will have to give, until the end of May an S21 requires 6 months notice from the Landlord, it will be reducing to 4 months notice from June, under S8 the months of arrears required will be 4 months but that kicks in from August. These are a tapering off of the Coronavirus regulations which will next be reviewed in September.

Landlords with arrears of over a years rent and/or documented ASB can bring a claim sooner, but Court delays are massive, there will be a telephone hearing to determine if an in person hearing is required and there are still ways they can delay proceedings but is better than it was.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th May, 2021 @ 13:35

@David,

I would advise you go back to your own Solicitor and ask them to draft you a "contractual periodic tenancy" so that the tenancy continues after a defined "initial term" until cancelled formally by break clauses, which themselves have the 2 month allowance you are seeking.

That happens at the end of every fixed term tenancy, no need for a contractual periodic tenancy...

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David 13th May, 2021 @ 15:17

@Landlord

As I understood Jon's question, he was trying to get his tenant to be required to give 2 months notice as he himself has to give 2 months notice.

As you know, when a fixed tenancy ends a new Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) is created in law, if rent is paid monthly it requires one month's notice for the tenant to end and 2 months notice from the Landlord.

As you may remember, before the Deregulation Act 2015, Contractual Periodic Tenancies (CPT) were popular to avoid avoid the creation on an SPT so that there was only one tenancy and thus only one set of sanctions if they forgot to protect the deposit.

Most Landlords went back to a fixed term tenancy and allowed the tenancy to roll over to an SPT, but there is another reason for using a CPT. When a tenant abandons a property that has rolled over to SPT the tenant is deemed to no longer have in interest and therefore not liable for the Council Tax, the obligation of same then transfers to the Landlord until a new tenant takes possession.

A CPT prevents this obligation to the Landlord because the tenancy only ends when the tenant gives notice, even if they abandon it, essentially because the tenancy from the start was a month to month tenancy, just one with a minimum period (the initial term).

This legal position was ratified in the High Court in 2016 before MR JUSTICE EDIS in

LEEDS CITY COUNCIL vs STEPHEN BROADLEY

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2016/1839.html

As I said in my post above a tenant can still end their CPT by giving notice and if they then remain in the property after that notice, the CPT will be terminated by the end of the notice period but them remaining will create a new SPT.

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Jon 21st May, 2021 @ 10:54

Thanks to everyone that replied. I guess in a nutshell the question is "can I ask a tenant to give two months notice when the fixed term ends". I have read that this can be done if the AST states the AST on the day the fixed term finishes enters into a contractual periodic, and not a statutory periodic.

I appreciate the best way to do this is to go to a solicitor but I dont think its needed. Having the clause in the agreement that states tenants notice has to be received on the "rent day" and not any day they choose is only a case of adding a line of text (i.e. if rent day is 5th April and tenant hands in 1 months notice on 15th April the notice period starts on 7th May)

Most ASTs say that the end of the fixed term with mean the start (or the inception) of a Contractual Term (not statutory ) which gives a number of benefits, the question to you guys is can one of those benefits be "the tenant is required to give two months notice"..... I would love an answer that says something on the lines of " As per the June 2020 change you cant do that" :) or "there is nothing stopping you from doing that".

Really appreciate your help guys, I have got a free legal helpline as part of my insurance but he may as well be talking in Swahili as still cant work it our haha

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David 21st May, 2021 @ 13:25

@Jon

It is fine to think you do not need a Solicitor as long as you are prepared to suffer the risk coming out of a poorly drafted term.

Any term that breaches common law, which itself includes case law, can be voided as an unfair contract term and without other terms properly isolating that term the whole contract can be invalidated.

I think you will find that the trick in your 2nd paragraph will be deemed an unfair contract term in certain circumstances.

There is also consumer legislation governing how much you can hold them liable for if they leave early with little or no notice. Sites like openrent show that you can get a property re-let in days and so give rise to a challenge in any idea of holding them liable for financial loss and those laws also limit the amount of interest to a few percent above base rate for the handful of days.

You can't just put something in a contract and say it is legally binding, the term has to be compliant with a plethora of laws, other laws may give them cause to break a contract, yet other laws may give them ability to sanction you 3 months rent per tenancy and another may sanction you for 12 months rent.

So paying a professional (a Solicitor) to draft a tenancy agreement that meets your stated needs is small price to pay because if they screw up you can hold them liable for any loss you suffer due to their negligence.

As I explained above, a contractual periodic should not have a "fixed" term, but rather an "initial" term, it is this kind of thing that a good Housing Solicitor will know about, because they will follow case law regarding housing, they will know cases that turned on one word in the Act or one word in a loss at the appeal court that became case law.

Most terms and law itself is constructed in an IF THEN ELSE IF manner, it has to account for every scenario but does not override other common law and it needs to be seen as whole. If two terms contradict then a Judge may deem the meaning is different to what you intended. If you think things are in Swahili now, wait until you are on the receiving end of a 400 page brief your tenant's Solicitor has made and you have just to weeks to file your defence which they can respond to but you can file no more and have to wait until you are in Court. Where you will be told if you did not file in your original bundle your document is not going to be allowed by the Judge.

I would avoid making your contract situational, if it is too confusing the term may be struck out as being unfair or unclear. Any term you create also has to be equal to both parties to be deemed fair.

There are some ways to use common law to your benefit, like having a six month initial tenancy where rent is paid in advance every three months, you allow the contract to become statutory periodic and because it inherits the terms of the preceding contract the rent is still due every three months. This means that you are obliged to give 3 months notice to end the SPT but so is the tenant.

This works great if your tenant is a lovely tenant you hate to lose and they are ignorant
of their rights, but I have had so many clients over the years who really regretted it when the tenant turned out to be a professional bad tenant. One paid offered to pay rent every six months and wanted the tenancy defined as such, which is was. The Landlord let them take possession on payment of the deposit, they said that their mother was sending a wire transfer for the 6 months rent. That never materialised but the 6 month notice requirement applied. The landlord issued S8 and S21 both of which were frustrated by legal interference, mistakes on paperwork etc.

Was this person a drug dealer looking to grow weed in every square foot of the property, no it was a very respectable software developer, company director, with a wife and child in a property that rents for £5k a month. Of course they begged the Landlord to let them in early for some perfectly plausible reason and the Landlord only saw the £5k he had and the £30 promised.

In a contract with a large prepayment of rent the wording of the contract is important, was the contractual payment term 6 months or was it a monthly term with 6 months upfront. A Court may deem both to be the same regardless of what you put into the contract, especially if the second payment also prepays 6 months in advance.

There is a way to construct a tenancy as a sort of credit agreement but I am not going to get into that now, suffice to say that it created some very interesting case law.

What you need to realise is that housing and law charities will often back a tenant if there is a matter of law they they want case law to be made so that it helps their other tenants, just as there are Landlord organisations who will help some landlords.

An example of this was the case law that made it illegal for an agent to reject a female tenant because they were in receipt of benefits. The tenant was supported by such charities.

You can slow things down by using Section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925 saying that the notice to quit must be served by registered post to a given address but the same Act also provides that it can be served at their last known abode or place of business.

There might be another contradictory term that says they have to inform the agent and so an email to them would then suffice despite the 196 term.

This is what I mean about ambiguity and this is what a good housing Solicitor will try to avoid.

Most of all you are just kidding yourself if you think you can hold tenants to every word of a contract. There is simply far too much law and case law, you can take them to Court but if they win you pay their legal fees.

Still you might be able to claim from their deposit through the deposit protection scheme, but they can refuse to be part of their ADR which forces you to take them to Court and if you do not do that in a timely manner then the deposit can be returned.

"There is nothing stopping you from doing that" (whatever "that" means) but whether you can enforce it is another matter. The classic one is the clause where if you are late paying rent you can be evicted with 3 days notice and a 30 day notice in other situation. All the tenant has to do is ignore you, change their locks and tell you to serve a legally compliant notice.

I have explained the importance of getting the wording right, e.g. initial term nor fixed term (just one example). I have explained how you need to make sure that no other term contradicts, either in implied meaning or by being vague because a term put in by a Solicitor FOR A REASON was deleted (by you). I have explained how there is a ton of case law that can impact the interpretation by a Judge. I have explained how the loser pays the other sides legal fees. Paying the small price to a solicitor for the drafting of a contract is cheaper than paying for the Solicitor to defend or enforce a poorly constructed contract. You can join landlord organisations that give you a template agreement but they are not accepting any liability for it. I had to defend a Landlord on a NRLA Contractual Period a while back, I have no idea of the age of the contract but the wording was not how I would have drafted it. It does not mean there was anything wrong with it per se, just I could see holes in how it might be interpreted based on my own experience.

So you pays your money and makes your choice or you just hope that your tenant is ignorant of the law and nobody tells them within 6 or 12 years what the situation really is.

Is it all worth the hassle, you might want to read the article below

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/your-tenant-wants-leave-early/

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Jon 21st May, 2021 @ 20:08

Wow David thankyou so much I honestly didnt expect such in depth educated response... Im really grateful and bless you for taking the time.

I have not added nothing and subtracted nothing from the AST as yet it reads :

THIS APPEARS AT THE START
A fixed term of 6 months. Commencing on and including XXXX 2021 To and including XXXX 2021 ("the Initial Term") And then continuing as a monthly contractual periodic tenancy until terminated in accordance with this agreement.

THE TERMS THE ABOVE REFERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Notice to end the tenancy at or after the end of the Initial Term

If either party wishes to end the tenancy on or after the final day of the Initial Term, they may give notice in writing to the other as follows:

The Landlord must give notice of no less than two months, such notice to expire any time on or after the final day of the Initial Term. A notice served by the Landlord under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 shall be sufficient notice under this clause.
The Tenant must give notice of no less than one month, such notice to expire the day before a Rent Payment Day or on the final day of the Initial Term.

If neither party serves a valid notice to terminate the tenancy at the end of the Initial Term, the parties agree that at the end of the Initial Term the tenancy will continue as a contractual periodic tenancy on a monthly basis.

I guess what I was asking previously is I know its dumb to change "one month " to "two months" if i don't know what I am doing, but if I did employ a solicitor, is it ACTUALLY LEGAL for that solicitor to put my desire for a 2 month notice period in to the contact ?

The reason I ask is was a tenant once upon a time with Northwood, and that clause of 2 months was in their contract. As none of the new clause state specifically about the termination period ... is it still legal. I kicked off to high heaven with Northwood and "I fought the law and the law won" hehe

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David 22nd May, 2021 @ 08:59

@Jon

I am not going to get into editing a document by blog especially with selective excerpts that are full of the exact vagueness, ambiguity and unfairness I was referring to, including unenforceable terms.

I already answered your question about just changing one month to two months in earlier posts, If you have a decent contractual periodic contract it is viable but that excerpt would not seem decent by my definition and experience. The language does not look as if constructed by a Solicitor.

If you do appoint a Solicitor make sure they at least have a decent housing department, you don't ask them to change dog shite agreement you already have, you say "I am looking for a contractual periodic tenancy agreement and these are the things I need (in plain English) it to include".

As I have explained, some Landlords put all kinds of shite in their contracts, they know they are not enforceable, but they figure that most tenants are ignorant of the law so it acts as a deterrent.

Examples might include saying that the tenant can't change the locks or that they have a right of non emergency access to the property or that they are liable for certain repairs that housing law says the landlord is responsible for.

When such a tenant takes the Landlord to Court or vice versa, it just makes it easier for me to demonstrate bad faith on the part of the Landlord, so the Judge takes that into account.

As previously explained, the best reason to use a contractual periodic tenancy is for the avoidance of Council Tax liability.

With regard to 1 month / 2 month, I refer you to the last two lines of my previous post.

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Jon 22nd May, 2021 @ 18:36

ONce again David thankyou for the reply.

Despite what might seem like a disregard of what advice you gave, I didread what you put quite a few times, and I took your advice. Actually tore up the shitty OpenRent AST and invested in a custom 26 pager.

Its made all teh difference for peace of mind, its bomb proof!!!!

For anyone asking the same question on here, that stumbles across my post and Davids posts... David was absolutely spot on. The only way you can possibly get two months notice out of a tenant that is initally on a 6 mth fixed term , is to put it in the AST and hope they dont check.

Found a case of MRxxx Vs Northwoood (northwood charged me for leaving early as didint see the 2 mth notice period in their AST), Northwood lost :)

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David 22nd May, 2021 @ 19:05

Just don't use the word fixed term, call it initial term or minimum term

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