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How to Extend or Renew Your Tenancy Agreement

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Will Southall

Will Southall

10 months ago - 4 minute read

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So, your landlord has been in touch to say your tenancy agreement needs renewing or extending, and you’re wondering what to do.

Generally, renewing a tenancy agreement is pretty straightforward. There usually isn’t much to it, and it either continues naturally, or you need to sign new paperwork to extend it for another term.

However, to protect yourself as a tenant, it’s best not to leave it all to your landlord – especially if they ask you to sign something new. Checking the details and making inquiries to ensure you understand everything is a very important step.

This article will explain how to extend or renew your tenancy agreement and share our tips on what to look out for during renewal.

What Tenancy Agreement Do I Have?

Most renters are on an assured shorthold tenancy (also known as AST’s). Having an AST means your landlord must follow certain regulations – like protecting your rent deposit.

AST’s come in two different types:

  • Periodic – meaning they operate on a rolling basis every week or month
  • Fixed-term – meaning they run for a fixed-term, usually 6 or 12 months

Periodic tenancy agreements shouldn’t need to be renewed, as such, since they renew ‘automatically’ on a rolling basis.

However, if you have a fixed-term tenancy agreement, this either needs to be renewed or moved to a periodic agreement.

How to Extend or Renew a Fixed-Term Tenancy Agreement

When a fixed-term tenancy agreement comes to an end, you and your landlord can either:

  • Renew and enter another fixed-term contract together
  • Move to a rolling tenancy agreement

Sometimes, it already states in your lease which one will happen at the end of your tenancy.

Nothing usually happens if you’re moving to a rolling, periodic tenancy agreement. You can usually just stay living in the property on the same terms as the existing lease.

Periodic tenancies can continue for as long as each party wants to remain in the lease. However, there is usually a notice period you’ll need to give on either side to end the lease.

If you and your landlord decide to renew the fixed-term contract, you’ll usually need to:

  • Agree on the duration - e.g., a 1-year lease
  • Agree on break clauses – which allow you to end the lease early
  • Sign new paperwork – which can contain different clauses to your current lease

Can I Request Changes to My Tenancy Agreement During Renewal?

As the tenant, renewal season provides an excellent opportunity to request changes to your lease.

If there’s something new you’d like to do or something you agreed on verbally during your last tenancy, you can request these changes be made to the agreement during renewal.

For example, if you want to rent with a pet or decorate your new rental.

Remember that you can request changes (like getting a pet) at other times during your lease, too. Renewal is just a good opportunity to reassess what you want from the next term and discuss these with your landlord.

Related article: How to rent with pets & find a pet-friendly rental

What Do I Need to Look Out For in a New Tenancy Agreement During Renewal?

When renewing your lease, your landlord may change some elements of your fixed-term agreement.

Some of this may be essential. For example, they may need to add information on the government’s new regulations since the last tenancy agreement was drawn up.

However, some changes could be made simply because the landlord wants to refine the responsibilities – or add new ones.

During renewal, it’s best to ask your letting agent or landlord directly about what changes have been made. That way, you have the chance to discuss the new responsibilities and what they could mean for you.

As a guide, before you sign, make sure you look out for things like:

  • Changes to notice periods
  • Changes to special clauses – like noise rules
  • New responsibilities around repairs or end of tenancy cleaning
  • Changes to rent price, due dates, or payment methods
  • Rent increase clauses – read this article about can your landlord raise rent during your tenancy
  • Changes to the costs of bills
  • Changes to deposit rules – like the scenarios that will cost you your deposit!

Related article: Top tips on how to get your rent deposit back

5 Things to Do Before You Renew a Fixed-Term Tenancy Agreement

Renewing your tenancy agreement doesn’t have to be stressful. But it’s important to make sure the new tenancy works for you – not just your landlord.

So, remember, before signing a new lease, always:

  1. Read the agreement in full – it may be boring, and you may just want to sign and get on with things, but make sure you check the fine print to see what’s changed.
  2. Check the duration of the lease and when break clauses apply – to ensure you can commit to the term.
  3. Ask the letting agent what’s changed – and ask why it’s changed if you don’t understand.
  4. Discuss any new responsibilities and what they mean for you – new responsibilities can be a big deal, so don’t let your landlord slip new responsibilities into the agreement without a discussion.
  5. Check new clauses around when rent can be raised and by how much – read this article about can my landlord raise rent for more information on what landlords can and can’t do.

And if you need more renting advice, check out our guides for renters.

How Fronted Can Help Renters

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Don’t live through the double deposit problem. With a Fronted lifetime deposit, your new landlord gets the money when they want it, and your old landlord holds onto the money until you move out. You sit there feeling smug.

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Will Southall

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Will Southall

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