Signing tenancy agreements can give you a great feeling. You feel like you’re starting a new chapter in your life by moving into a new home, however long this may be for.
It’s important you know what you’re signing up for, which is why we’ve put together this handy guide which will share all there is to learn about tenancy agreements.
What are tenancy agreements?
A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and your landlord, which gives you both certain rights. The agreement should tell you when rental payments are due, how much they are and if any break clauses or additional terms apply.
Most tenancy agreements are AST’s (assured short-hold tenancy’s), which usually have a fixed term of 6-12 months. This fixed term can be any length though. During this fixed term, you have a right to remain a tenant within the property if you stick to the terms of the AST agreed between you and your landlord.
Having a fixed term gives you security and peace of mind. Rental payments and the time between payments will remain fixed during this period, so you know exactly how much money you owe for the length of the fixed term.
But, what happens when this fixed term ends?
Your options when your fixed term ends
Once you come to the end of your fixed term, you have 3 options.
Firstly, you can renew your tenancy with a new fixed term tenancy agreement. Again, this gives you security for a further fixed term with set payments and terms that both you and the landlord must stick to. However, signing a new tenancy does mean the rental rates and terms can be updated with the agreement of both you and your landlord.
Secondly, you can choose not to renew on a fixed term and instead let the tenancy run on to a rolling contract. This is what is known as a periodic tenancy. The rent period along with the rental payments are based on your fixed term. So, if you were paying monthly during the fixed period, then the rolling contract will run month-by-month and the rental payments will remain the same initially.
Lastly, if you no longer wish to live in the property, you can give notice of your intention to leave. Your notice period should be given in your tenancy agreement, but it will be at least 4 weeks (if paying weekly) or one calendar month (if paying monthly).
What if you want to leave during the fixed term?
If you decide you want to leave and you are within the fixed term of your tenancy, then there are options.
You and your landlord can decide to add in a break clause to the tenancy agreement. This gives you both requirements that must be met along with a notice period. If these requirements are met, then the fixed period may be ‘broken’ before the end of the term.
If no such break clause exists, then you can still leave with the agreement of your landlord. If no agreement can be sought, then you can still choose to leave the property, however you will be responsible for covering your rental payments (whilst the fixed period continues) until the landlord has re-let the property.
Of course, there is always the option to go for a tenancy agreement with no fixed period, if you are not planning on sticking around for long. This is perfectly normal, and a lot more common than you may think!
If you want to find out about the tenancy agreements that we provide at Åben Living, then get in touch.