It seems like you were just beginning to feel at home in your new neighbourhood, when you realise that the expiry date for your tenancy agreement is just around the corner. It has a habit of creeping up on people, especially in the case of short hold tenancies, which only run for a period of six months.
However, provided you've not given your landlord any major cause to complain, renewing the tenancy shouldn't be a problem (of course, that's assuming you intend to renew it in the first place). There are a number of renewal options available, and it's up to you and your landlord to determine which arrangement suits you best.
According to The Tenants’ Voice, you have three choices when it comes to renewing your tenancy agreement:
1. Renew for a fixed-term tenancy: The advantages of agreeing on a new fixed-term tenancy is that both you and the landlord will have some security over the coming months. The landlord will be guaranteed income for a set period, and you will be guaranteed a roof over your head, as the landlord will not be able to evict you until the lease has expired (unless you consistently fail to pay your rent).
2. Rolling tenancy: If the tenancy expires without you and the landlord having officially signed a new agreement, then the tenancy automatically becomes a “rolling tenancy”, in which case it just carries on from month-to-month or week-to-week.
These kinds of tenancies are quite common and can even stretch out over the course of several years. The trade off is that neither you or the landlord are committed to upholding the tenancy for any set period, so either of you can choose to end it at any time, provided you give the other at least a month's notice.
For those looking for long-term security, this is obviously not ideal, but those who relocate frequently may find the more casual nature of the rolling tenancy well suited to their situation.
3. End the tenancy: In most cases, you'll be able to leave on the last day of a fixed-term tenancy without giving the landlord notice, though it is common courtesy to do so. You should double-check the tenancy agreement just to make sure the landlord did not include a clause requiring you to give notice before leaving when the tenancy expires.
Renewal fee: The letting agent may require a fee in exchange for renewing the tenancy agreement. It may be worth your while to negotiate with the landlord, as they may be willing to pay the fee for you on the basis that it would cheaper for them to do so than to find a new tenant.
Rent increase: An annual increase is often included in a fixed-term tenancy agreement, but even if it’s not, your landlord may want to up your rent come renewal time. If the increase is reasonable, it’s usually best just to accept it and keep living in peace with your landlord. If, however, the hike is unreasonable, don't hesitate to negotiate a fairer price. Remember that even though it is a landlord’s market, it’s far more convenient for your landlord to keep you on (especially if you’re an easy-going tenant) than to find someone new who may or may not be as considerate as you.
With the appropriate advisement, renewing a tenancy agreement should be a quick and painless exercise that produces an arrangement suitable to both yourself and your landlord. Don't hesitate to contact Tepilo for any professional advice you may need on matters pertaining to tenancy agreements and the UK property market in general.