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Is a three month periodic tenancy legal?

Tenancy agreementHere is a question to the blog clinic from Nomi who is a landlord

I rent a flat to a couple who have been renting it for six years, renewed each year for 12 months with a 6-month break clause.

We would now like the agreement to be a 3-month periodic one with the condition that we all have to give three months’ notice to end the tenancy. We have also all agreed to £100 pcm rent increase.

Would this be ok legally?

Answer:

I don’t see why not.  Assuming the tenants are prepared to sign such an agreement.

Most periodic tenancies are created automatically after the fixed term ends under s5 of the Housing Act 1988.  However there is no reason why they cannot be created by contract.

Under common law the period of notice the tenant needs to give is that of the period (which is why most periodic tenants give one months notice as their period is monthly).

However if the period was three months then that is the notice period they would need to give.

The tenancy agreement would have to be carefully drafted to ensure that it ‘worked’.

The Landlord Law tenancy agreements already provide for a contractual fixed term so (if you were a Landlord Law member) all that would be necessary would be a small amendment which I would draft for you if you asked me in the member forum.

You can find out about the Landlord Law tenancy agreements here.



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One Response to Is a three month periodic tenancy legal?

  1. Surely the LL here is just attempting to get around the minimum six months AST by the back door, unless the tenants have specific reasons for wanting a three month tenancy, perhaps because they are anticipating job relocation or for other reasons but don’t quite know when.

    Six months is de-stabilising enough by itself as a legal minimum for ASTs. Why would a tenant already having yearly renewals (and clearly a good tenant) agree voluntarily to possible eviction every three months.

    I just don’t buy it.




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About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law. She runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 12th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google



The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.


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Legal services are provided via Tessa's online service Landlord Law. Some advice services are provided by Tessa, other legal services are provided by specialist housing firm Anthony Gold.


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