My current fixed term tenancy expires soon. Will I be able to move house during this “lockdown”, as it is not one of the listed exemptions.

As the alternative, will be landlord / lettings agency be required to extend my fixed term tenancy, to allow me to avoid moving house?

Note that this is a student letting - there are tenants already lined up after my tenancy ends.

2 Answers 2


In most cases at the end of a fixed term, a normal assured shorthold tenancy will continue on a periodic basis even if this is not mentioned in the contract itself until the landlord issues a notice of intention to repossess.


When your contract ends you have different options.

If you want to stay, you can either:

  • agree a new fixed term contract – your rent may increase
  • stay in your home without signing a new contract – your agreement becomes periodic and rolls on monthly at the same rent

Your landlord is not required to extend the tenancy; it will continue by default (and it is probably in your interest to not sign up to a new fixed term). If, however, the landlord wishes to end the tenancy and repossess the property they must follow the correct procedures including service notice, applying to the court, gaining a repossession order (and the order will usually give you a period to find somewhere else to live) and finally gaining possession from a High Court bailiff. This process can easily take six months.

It is unlawful for a landlord to try to evict you without following the correct procedure or to harrass you in any way.

The law in Scotland/Northern Ireland is not identical, but is similar.

  • I should have written this into the question - it’s a student letting, which means they already have tenants signed up for next year. The notice has effectively already been given when I chose not to sign up for another full year I believe.
    – Tim
    Mar 25, 2020 at 19:30
  • @Tim you can edit your question.
    – phoog
    Mar 25, 2020 at 20:10
  • That may not be a tenancy but a licence to occupy. I think either way, you can't be evicted without the landlord going through the proper procedure; the fact that there are subsequent incoming tenants does not change that (although it may affect how long the court gives you to find somewhere else to live). However, if the 'lockdown' is still in place, so you can't move out, those incoming tenants won't be able to move in either.
    – Owain
    Mar 25, 2020 at 20:55
  • @Owain “Assured Shorthold Tenancy Under Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act 1996”, with the Term “From 2 pm on 01/08/2019 until 12 noon on 31/07/2019”
    – Tim
    Mar 25, 2020 at 22:15
  • 1
    That's quite straightforward then; it's a AST and will become periodic. And assuming you mean June 2020 that's quite a long way away in coronavirus terms.
    – Owain
    Mar 26, 2020 at 19:53

From the BBC website

We're due to move house this Friday. Can we? - James Stone, Bristol

The government is yet to issue official advice for those who have already exchanged contracts and are waiting to move house.

The campaign group Homeowners Alliance says it would suggest going through with the move if you can, although it says you may struggle with getting your belongings moved.

It also advises you to speak to all of those involved in the process as soon as possible - your solicitor, your buyer and/or seller and your removals company.

This seems to be mostly aimed at the purchase/sale of property rather than renting

  • 1
    Yes - and those who’ve already agreed contracts. I’ve not agreed anything yet, but my current tenancy ends on a fixed date - it’s not a rolling contract - which is not ideal
    – Tim
    Mar 25, 2020 at 10:00

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