What happens after a shorthold tenancy expires?
The standard contract for people renting from private landlords tends to be assured shorthold tenancies, but what happens when a shorthold tenancy expires?
A shorthold tenancy is usually signed for a period of six months or a year and the tenant agrees to pay an amount of rent on a set day of the month through that contract.
The tenancy agreement will detail how long the tenancy is to last and who is responsible for any repairs.
When a shorthold tenancy expires
When a shorthold tenancy begins a landlord will ask for a deposit and they will then put it in a legally recognised scheme to protect it. This deposit may help pay for any damage or unpaid rent when the tenancy ends.
It's important to appreciate that under the terms of a shorthold tenancy, a landlord cannot increase the agreed amount of rent until the tenancy expires. Only after a shorthold tenancy expires can a landlord increase the rent being paid by a tenant.
However, when the tenancy agreement does expire a tenant has a number of choices which include asking the landlord if they can remain in the property and sign a new contract. This contract will also be for a fixed term and may include having to pay renewal fees or a higher rate of rent.
Tenants should also be aware that when a shorthold tenancy expires they can remain in the property beyond the fixed term and not sign a new contract.
Leaving a property when a shorthold tenancy expires
A tenant can also leave the property when a shorthold tenancy expires, though they must give a month's written notice if they are doing so.
It is possible for a tenant to leave before a tenancy expires but it's always wise to check that there is a clause within the agreement, it's normally called a 'break clause', to ensure that this can happen without incurring financial charges.
What is a periodic tenancy?
This means that a shorthold tenancy is no longer in place and the agreement has then become 'periodic' which means that it rolls on a month-to-month basis but at the same level of rent.
It's worth noting that when a shorthold tenancy expires a landlord cannot demand that you leave a property immediately because that would be against the law. A landlord must follow a set procedure if they want to evict you from their property and they will need to apply for a court order to do so.
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