It is standard practice today for landlords to rent out properties on fixed term contracts (most common being 1 year contracts) and to use either attorneys or rental agencies to draft and manage their lease agreements. In most circumstances these contracts would include provisions for the renewal of the lease, as well as rental escalation clauses and the rental agencies would confirm closer to the conclusion of the rental term if the tenant would like to renew the lease or not.
But what if you have an informal agreement with no rental agent managing the lease? What if your contract does not include provisions for renewal of the lease?
The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) states that a landlord must inform a tenant in writing not more than 80 nor less than 40 business days before the expiry of the lease if the agreement is to be renewed or if the agreement may continue beyond the expiry date.
If no notice was received the fixed term agreement will automatically continue on a month-to month basis in the following circumstances:
It is clear then that should your lease agreement have expired, and you have neither agreed to a renewal of the lease term, nor has the landlord given any indication that the agreement will be renewed or not, your lease agreement will be automatically regarded as a month-month lease. The lease in other words does not automatically come to an end, and the landlord cannot evict you without following the correct procedures for eviction.
Any lease agreement which continues on a month-to-month basis can be cancelled by the landlord by giving one month’s written notice (20 business days) to the tenant. Should a tenant not vacate a property after the 20 business days have expired, the landlord has legal recourse to institute eviction proceedings.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)