What do recent law changes mean for fixed-term tenancy agreements?

Vicki Hetherington News

By now you will have heard that the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 was amended on 11 February 2021, as part of the biggest reform of tenancy law in three decades. There are many changes to wrap your head around, and one question we are hearing a lot is what does it mean for existing fixed-term tenancy agreements? Lucky for you, we are here to help!

If the original fixed-term agreement was signed before 11 February 2021, the following law changes do not apply:

  • Security of rental tenure (changes to the ways you can end a tenancy)
  • Assignment of tenancies (allowing most tenants to request assignment)
This means the tenancy can end on the agreed date (at the end of the fixed term) in accordance with the old laws. The landlord or tenant needs to give written notice between 90 and 21 days before the expiry date to say they don’t want it to continue. No reason needs to be given to end the tenancy, and it will not convert to a periodic tenancy at the date of expiry. This is the case even if you make changes to the fixed-term tenancy agreement (extend, vary or renew) on or after 11 February 2021.Assignment of tenancies is another area where the old laws apply to fixed-term tenancy agreements. If the agreement was signed before 11 February 2021, it can still state that assigning the tenancy is prohibited. This means tenants cannot assign the tenancy to someone else (move out and have a new tenant take over).

If you have any questions or are unsure about these changes you can always get in touch to talk it over.