Put Simple, a periodic tenancy is an agreement that runs for an indefinite amount of time, with no set end date. The agreement runs in set periods (weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc.), and rent is due at the end of each period. At the end of one period, the agreement automatically rolls over into the next one.
When letting a property, normally an AST used (A shorthold tenancy). A shorthold tenancy automatically becomes a periodic tenancy if a new tenancy isn’t signed after the original one expires. All the same terms & conditions apply, the only difference being that the time between each ‘period’ changes.
For example, if Tenant X rents a property from Landlord Y on a 6 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), and at the end of the 6 months they do not sign a new AST, the contract will automatically turn into a Periodic Tenancy. The Periodic Tenancy will usually run on a month-by-month period, unlike the 6-month period of the original AST.
How can a Periodic Tenancy be ended?
There are three main ways that either the tenant or landlord can end a periodic tenancy:
- By mutual agreement from both parties
- By one party giving the correct notice in writing to the other party (in our example that would be one month)
- By one party acquiring an order from the courts
Is a Periodic Tenancy a good thing?
It depends on your situation, whether you are a tenant or landlord. If you are a tenant and your 6 or 12 month AST for example has expired, but you are not sure whether you want to stay at the property then a rolling periodic tenancy is great for you, as you only have to give one month’s notice to leave. If however, you really like your home and do not want to leave then you will want to renew your AST to ensure you can continue renting the property for at least the next AST period.
Likewise for a landlord, if you think you will want your property back at some point after the AST expires then a periodic tenancy is great as you only have to serve one month’s notice to acquire it; however, if you want the longterm security and do not want your property vacant, then renewing the AST for 6-12 months guarantees you won’t be left with an empty property in potentially one month’s time.