Extension, Renewal and Termination of Tenancies

Published on 2015-08-15

Extensions

An extension of a tenancy is where the landlord and tenant agree to ‘roll over’ the tenancy under the same terms once the fixed term has ended. The tenancy automatically falls into periodic status at the end of the fixed term and no specific actions are required. Agents have a duty of care to write to landlords and tenants to advise on the relevance of the periodic tenancy. Where the tenant remains on a periodic basis, tenancy deposits for ASTs should be re-protected and the prescribed information sent to the tenant again.

Renewals

Landlords and tenants can agree to renew the tenancy for a further fixed term. Agents must ensure that both parties agree to any amendments to the tenancy and sign any renewal agreements.

Ending an AST

For a landlord to gain possession within the fixed term, one or more of the Schedule 2 grounds are required. To gain possession at the end of a fixed term, they must serve the tenant notice in writing with a minimum of two months notice. If the tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement, the landlord does not have to wait until the end of the fixed term to apply for possession.

Seeking possession during a periodic tenancy must use a notice under Section 21(4)a.

An assured tenancy can be ended at the end of the fixed term or when in a statutory periodic status by serving a Section 8 notice and citing one or more grounds in Schedule 2.

A non-Housing Act tenancy does not require the landlord to give notice to end the tenancy; it ends with the effluxion of time. If the tenancy becomes periodic, the landlord must serve notice to seek possession.

Tenancies under the Rent Act 1977 require a possession order from the courts before a tenant can be made to leave.

Tenants Giving Notice for Housing Act and Non-Housing Act 1988 Tenancies

A tenant does not have to give notice if they wish to leave at the end of a fixed term tenancy. Tenants can serve a notice to quit to end a periodic tenancy. Notice may be served by first class post, by hand or by recorded delivery if noted in the tenancy agreement.

Grounds for Possession under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988

There are 17 grounds for possession under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 – eight mandatory grounds and nine discretionary grounds. Some grounds cannot be served in the initial fixed term.

Accelerated Possession Procedure (APP)

This is a fast track option for landlords with ASTs to seek possession if the tenant does not leave following the expiry of a Section 21 notice.

It is illegal to harass a tenant under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Rent Reviews for Housing Act 1988 Tenancies

Unless a tenancy agreement allows for an increase in rent the landlord cannot raise the rent during a fixed term. Landlords can formally apply for rent increases in periodic tenancies using a Section 13 notice but only once in every 12 month period.

Tenants can use a Section 22 notice to appeal against a high rent during the first six months of an initial fixed term tenancy. For non Housing Act tenancies rent reviews are either agreed, or incorporated into the tenancy agreement.

Categories: Residential Lettings Property Management