This information is for private landlords.
Your tenancy agreement should say what happens at the end of the fixed term. Check the agreement carefully so you know how to proceed.
Generally, neither you nor your tenants have to serve a notice to quit to end the fixed term. But you will need to serve one if they do not leave when they’re supposed to.
Deciding what to do at the end of a fixed term
If you’re happy with your current tenants, you can either:
- renew the fixed term by signing another contract, or
- allow your tenants to remain on a periodic basis
If either you or your tenants do not want to continue the tenancy, you must be clear on how to end the tenancy.
You’ll need to find out if your tenants want to stay in the property. You’ll also need to let them know what your plans are.
Write to your tenants about four to six weeks before the tenancy finishes to confirm what will happen.
Continuing the tenancy
If you decide to renew the tenancy, you’ll need to discuss any changes to the terms, such as a rent increase, before signing a new contract.
If you do not sign a new contract and the tenancy becomes periodic, the terms of the initial tenancy agreement still hold. The same repairing and rent obligations still apply. These can only be changed by giving 28 days’ written notice.
Ending a fixed term agreement
Neither you nor your tenants have to give a written notice to quit at the end of the fixed term. But serving this notice, giving the correct notice period, allows you to apply for a court order straight away if your tenants refuse to leave.
Your tenants are free to leave at the end of the fixed term, even if they have not given you a notice to quit.
Your contract may include a term saying that your tenant must give you notice to quit if they want to move out at the end of a fixed term. This could be considered an unfair term making it unenforceable.
Tenants want to leave early
Your tenants may want to move out before the fixed-term contract ends. Most tenancy agreements are legally binding until the end date.
Your tenant can try to end the tenancy before then if:
- they believe you have broken the contract and will not fix this breach or
- there is a clause in the contract giving you and the tenant equal rights to end the agreement early
If this happens, you can:
- agree to end the agreement early with no further liability
- agree to end the agreement early under certain conditions
- try to resolve any dispute with the tenants that has led to them wanting to leave
- try to sue the tenants for unpaid rent
If your tenants need to end the contract early for another reason, you can both agree to end the tenancy early. Keep a written record of the agreement you reach.