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Property is in England. I have tenant who has given me their notice, they had a fixed term agreement that expired a few months ago they were looking to buy a house so we agreed they could just let it expire. Rather than doing for another whole year. The contract throughout said we both had to give two months notice, I figured they still had to give me that now, even when it expired, they want one month. Who is right here?

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    Seems like a legal question rather than one that's principally about money.
    – Robert Longson
    Apr 4, 2023 at 21:14
  • So the contract expired, and you are now on a word-of-mouth good-will-gesture month-by-month rental?
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 4, 2023 at 22:38
  • @JonCuster That's not how it works in England & Wales; unless otherwise agreed, it will be a statutory periodic tenancy. Apr 5, 2023 at 8:26

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First review the existing contract for anything that specifies what happens at the end of the term. I have seen ones that switch to month to month, others automatically extend by a whole year.

In the United states the rental law is done at the state level or even more local than that. So I took a look at the UK policies. I focused on England.

Guidance How to rent: the checklist for renting in England Updated 24 March 2023

  1. At the end of the fixed period If you want to stay

If you want to extend your tenancy after any initial fixed period, there are a number of important issues to consider. Check Shelter’s website for advice. Do you want to sign up to a new fixed term?

If not, you will be on a ‘rolling periodic tenancy’. This means you carry on as before but with no fixed term. Your tenancy agreement should say how much notice you must give the landlord if you want to leave the property – one month’s notice is typical. Shelter publishes advice on how you can end your tenancy.

I then went to the shelter website How to end a periodic tenancy:

How much notice

You can give your landlord a legal notice called a 'notice to quit' to end a rolling tenancy.

This is a more formal option. Your tenancy will end legally if you follow the rules on how much notice and where to send it.

A legal notice must:

  • be in writing

  • give the right amount of notice

  • end on the correct day

Here is an example of a notice to quit.

A legal notice ends your tenancy and your right to live in your home.

Joint tenancies will end for all tenants even if only one of you gives notice.

You cannot withdraw a valid notice if you change your mind.

Your landlord may agree to let you or other joint tenants stay on after a notice ends. Minimum notice periods

You need to give at least:

  • 1 month if your rent is due monthly
  • 4 weeks if your rent is due weekly

You can usually give the minimum notice to end your tenancy if your most recent agreement does not mention a longer notice period or if you've never had a written agreement.

You may still need to give more than the minimum notice to make sure it ends on the right day. If your agreement says you must give more notice

Your agreement might have a 'notice clause'.

For example, if it says you have to give 2 months' notice.

A notice clause might not apply after your fixed term has ended but sometimes it will. When will the longer notice apply?

The longer notice period will only apply if either:

  • you never had a fixed term agreement
  • your agreement says it continues as a contractual periodic tenancy after the fixed term

You can ignore a notice clause in your most recent agreement if both:

  • your fixed term has ended
  • your agreement does not say that it continues as a contractual periodic tenancy

It looks like the notice period is a month, unless the contract says that the notice period is longer during the periodic tenancy.

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