Here is a question to the blog clinic from Sara (not her real name) who is a tenant
My short fixed term lease has ended and I will continue to stay in the apartment as the landlord is abroad and we have not been able to get in touch with them to renew it.
I will be continue to pay the rent as I understand I am still covered under periodic tenancy.
I pay the money into the estate agent’s account- who manage the property.
The fact that I pay the estate agent and not the landlord- would that void the periodic tenancy protection? What precautions should I take to ensure that paying the agent is good enough- should I check how long they are under their management contract with the landlord?
You don’t need to worry. First – under the Housing Act 1988 a new periodic tenancy will be created automatically if you stay on after the end of your fixed term There is no need to ‘renew’ the tenancy.
This new periodic tenancy will have the same terms and conditions as the preceding fixed term tenancy. So the only thing that has changed really is that your tenancy runs from month to month, rather than being for a fixed period of time.
If your landlord has an agent managing the property for him and the arrangement is that you pay rent to the agent, then this arrangement will continue until such time as you are notified that the agent is no longer instructed by the landlord.
Even if the landlord HAS ended his arrangement with the agent, if no-one tells you about it, then you are entitled to assume that you can continue to pay the rent as you have always done and the landlord cannot (for example) require you to pay it twice.
There is no need for you to do anything, it is up to the landlord to keep you informed.
Paying your rent to the landlords agent cannot affect the validity of your tenancy. The only way this can be ended, without your agreement, is by the landlord getting a court order for possession.