Published on Sat, 15th Mar 2014 19:49

Most landlords issue an AST for a fixed term - normally 6 months. At the end of the term the AST remains in place, but becomes a Statutory Periodic - unless the AST is renewed.

This has never been an issue, but as aresult of two separate court cases last year, this now means:-

  • If a deposit has been taken, and correctly protected, this protection has to be renewed at the change from Fixed term to Statutory Periodic.  Check with your scheme provider how to do this.  The reason for this is that the 1988 Housing Act states that when an AST changes from Fixed Term to Statutory Periodic it is a new agreement.  Under the Deposit legislation a new agreement has to have a deposit protected again.    (Superstrikev Rodrigues)
  • Another court examined the section of the act dealing with a Section 21 eviction, and found:-

               S.21(2) of the 1988 Act provides that a notice under s.21(1)(b) "may be given before or on the day on which the tenancy comes to an end" 

               i.e. a S21 (1)(b) applies at any time in the life of a Fixed term AST, even if it has become Statutory Periodic. (Spencer v Taylor)

It is worth noting that you do not need to issue a Fixed Term agreement, it is possible to issue an AST without a term stated.

This would then be a Contractual Periodic AST, and a Section 21 (4)(a) would then have to be used.  

Contractual Periodic makes the deposit protection slightly easier, but the S21 eviction notice far more complicated - swings and roundabouts - your choice.