A periodic tenancy will continue until either the landlord or the tenant brings it to an end. For tenants this will usually be by serving notice to quit and for landlords by serving an appropriate notice and (if the tenant does not leave) obtaining a court order.
A fixed-term assured tenancy (i.e. non-shorthold) will continue after its expiry date, and the landlord can only bring it to an end on certain grounds. Most tenancies in the private rented sector start life as fixed-term assured shorthold tenancies. When the fixed term of an assured shorthold tenancy ends the landlord has the following options if they want the tenancy to continue:
to agree a replacement fixed-term shorthold tenancy with the tenant
to agree to a replacement assured shorthold tenancy on a periodic basis called a contractual periodic tenancy or to do nothing and allow the assured shorthold tenancy to run on with the same terms, under a statutory periodic tenancy.
5.2.1 Agreeing A Replacement
This is not something that the landlord has to do but a replacement fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy is advantageous for landlords who want to know that the tenant’s obligations are going to continue for at least the duration of the replacement tenancy.
Check whether the tenancy deposit protection scheme being used requires re-registration of the deposit if the tenancy is renewed, because the scheme requirements vary and a further fee may be payable.
5.2.2 Agreeing A Contractual Periodic AST
This is not compulsory either but sometimes a tenancy agreement will contain a clause providing that the tenancy will not end at the end of the fixed term but will instead continue as a contractual periodic tenancy. Again, check whether the chosen tenancy deposit protection scheme requires re-registration of the deposit.
Where such a clause exists, the tenancy will be counted as a single tenancy ‘continuing’ from the original fixed term.
5.2.3 Statutory Periodic Tenancy
If the landlord does nothing, there are no provisions in the tenancy for what happens at the end and the tenant stays on in the property, the tenancy will automatically run on from one rent period to the next on the same terms as the preceding fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy. This is called a statutory periodic tenancy. The tenancy will continue to run on this basis until a new fixed-term or periodic tenancy is agreed or the tenant leaves or the court awards the landlord possession. The terms of the existing tenancy agreement remain in force; a notice to gain possession of the premises can be served at any time. The period of notice is linked to the period for which rent was last payable under the tenancy. Take advice if there are doubts about which notice to serve.
A statutory periodic tenancy is a brand new tenancy comparable to a written renewal.