When a tenancy is granted to a tenant it is normally for a fixed period of time – for example, six months or a year. If, after the end of this period, the tenants are still in occupation – then if the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, a new ‘periodic’ tenancy will be created automatically (under section 5 of the Housing Act 1988). A periodic tenancy is in effect a series of ‘mini fixed terms’ which continue indefinitely until the tenancy ends or a new fixed-term agreement is entered into. The periodic tenancy will:
- Come into existence immediately after the fixed term ends (normally this will be at the start of the following day)
- The landlord and tenant will be the same
- The ‘period’ of the tenancy will relate to how the rent is paid. So if rent is paid monthly, it will be a monthly periodic tenancy.
- The terms and conditions will be the same as in the preceding fixed term tenancy, apart from any terms providing for ending the tenancy.
- Tenants remaining after the fixed terms ends are not squatters – they will have a proper valid tenancy
- They will still have a tenancy agreement – the tenancy agreement for the preceding fixed term will still apply
- A landlord does not have to give their consent to a periodic tenancy – it happens automatically.