Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
It is the Landlord’s (and their agents) responsibility to record the expiration date of a lease. It is good practice to contact the tenant 6-8 months prior to expiry to determine their future plans with the tenancy, if any.
If the tenant does wish for the tenancy to continue, negotiations will be needed for the new lease terms and should be commenced as soon as possible to allow time for agreement to be reached.
If the expiration date is imminent and it remains unclear as to whether or not the tenant wishes to remain, the landlord should not just presume that they will leave on the given date. Steps should be taken by the Landlord to avoid the creation of an implied periodic tenancy which would provide the tenant the protections of Security of Tenure.
Whether or not the Landlord wishes for the tenant to remain in the premises longer than the contracted period, an open letter should be sent to the tenant demanding possession of the property on expiration of the lease term. This is to avoid a tenancy at will being implied.
If the Landlord wishes for the tenant to remain in the premises then a further without prejudice letter should be sent in addition to the open correspondence to the tenant stating that possession proceedings will not be issued at court for a short specified period to allow the negotiations on new lease terms. In an ideal situation, a copy of this letter should be signed by the tenant and returned to the landlord by way of acknowledgement.
A key point to be noted is that the landlord should neither request nor accept payment of rent from the tenant after the lease has expired. Although there is no rule stating that acceptance of rent beyond the contracted term will create the presumption of a periodic tenancy, this may be used by the tenant as evidence of such. This situation is therefore best avoided. If the tenant does remain in occupation beyond the expiration date they will be liable to pay mesne profits once the new lease has been completed and a claim could be made for mesne profits and damages for use and occupation beyond the expiry date should a new lease not be agreed.