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Here's the facts:

  • I live in the UK.
  • My fixed period tenancy agreement finishes at the end of december
  • A periodic tenancy starts on january
  • I want to move out at the end of the year
  • Due to reasons I was only able to give notice now
  • Tenancy agreement says I have to give two months notice before end of fixed period tenancy ends if I want to move out at the end.
  • Landlord says I'm liable for first month's rent on periodic tenancy.

From what I've read here(Statutory periodic tenancies), The fixed period tenancy and the periodic tenancy are actually two separate tenancies,

According to this (1. If the Tenants Have Moved out), if I move out at the end of the fixed period then the second tenancy ceases to exist.

Also according to this (Ending a tenancy) I can:

If you have a fixed-term tenancy, you can leave at the end of that tenancy without giving notice.

So with all that in mind:

  1. Am I liable for the first month of periodic rent?
  2. Can the landlord refuse to give me back my (fairly substantial) deposit or even take the rent from the deposit should I refuse to pay the periodic rent?

Image of the Term & Termination clauses from contract:

The Term & Notice to Terminate

According to that the Periodic Agreement only activates should I remain in the property after the end of the Fixed term agreement.

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    Sounds like a legal question which likely is based on national and local UK laws. One option: if you can find a tenant for your landlord in the next 2 weeks, they may wave the extra rent charge [assuming they are legally allowed to charge it to you in the first place]. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Dec 19 '17 at 17:42
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    This part of agreement is somewhat flawed (IMHO): in the first paragraph, everything after the first sentence is redundant, as it's just restating the law. "This will continue until ended by either party": no; a tenancy can be ended only by the tenant, or by a court. The landlord has no such power. – Steve Melnikoff Dec 20 '17 at 10:58
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    2nd paragraph: as discussed in the answers below, the tenant probably does not need to give notice at the end of a fixed term. The next sentence is redundant (notice in periodic tenancies is governed by common law). The final sentence is misleading and redundant, as the landlord cannot end the agreement nor insist on the tenant leaving; but he can issue a section 21 notice with 2 months' notice, which allows him to get a court to do this. – Steve Melnikoff Dec 20 '17 at 11:02
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    In the question it is stated that the regular lease ends 31 December 2017 and the tenant wants to move out at the end of December in 12 days, and that the landlord wants to collect rent for January. The image of the rental agreement states that the fixed term runs to January 31st 2018. Therefore the landlord is entitled to January's rent. – mhoran_psprep Dec 20 '17 at 11:26
  • @mhoran_psprep: yes. The question should probably be updated to clarify that any periodic tenancy would begin on 1 Feb, unless the tenant leaves before then. – Steve Melnikoff Dec 20 '17 at 11:34
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After digging around I found this PDF here, though seeing as it's been archived I'm not sure it's still relevant.

Still, Paragraph 3.78 states (the most relevant bit is the first sentence):

A tenant is not required to give notice to bring the tenancy to an end at the end of the fixed term. That is because a fixed term agreement comes to an end at the end of the fixed term, and no periodic tenancy will arise if the tenant then leaves.

We appreciate that landlords will want to ensure that their properties are not left empty between tenancies, but object to terms that impose a contractual obligation on the tenant to give notice in order for the tenancy to be terminated at the end of the fixed term. This could allow the landlord to impose a substantial financial penalty on tenants who do not realise that notice is not required, by requiring them to pay rent for a period after the end of the fixed term.

Terms such as this are not necessary to protect landlords from the possibility that their property will be left empty, as the law allows landlords to recover possession at the end of the fixed term by serving at least two months' notice, and they could do so where their current tenant fails to indicate when asked whether they intend to stay on.

The landlord and tenant could of course still agree to a renewal of the tenancy even after such notice was served.

I did find a more recent document but I can't make heads or tales of it, nor can I find an example relevant in regards to notices in accompanying documentation.

Thanks to @steveMelnikoff I now have confirmation that older case stuff still applies, in my case from this page the first bullet point under the heading "The Unfair Terms rules and tenancy agreements":

A clause will be considered unfair if it takes away a legal right a tenant would otherwise have had. For example all tenants are entitled to leave at the end of the fixed term without giving notice (this infuriates landlords, but it is, I am afraid, the law – see my blog post here) – so any tenancy agreement term requiring tenants to give, say, two months notice (and pay rent in lieu if they do not), will be void.

  • Can you link the "more recent document" ? – Michael Dec 19 '17 at 22:35
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    I added a link to the bottom paragraph. – Thermatix Dec 20 '17 at 4:20
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My fixed period tenancy agreement finishes at the end of december I want to move out at the end of the year

Unless I grossly misunderstand something, "the end of december" and "the end of the year" are the same. So you'd be leaving at the end of your fixed tenancy.

Due to reasons I was only able to give notice now

That's a given. Even forgetfulness, spite and jackassery are reasons.

Tenancy agreement says I have to give two months notice before end of fixed period tenancy ends if I want to move out at the end.

What does the TA say is the penalty for not giving two months notice?

If you have a fixed-term tenancy, you can leave at the end of that tenancy without giving notice.

I'd find the statute which says that, and compare with the TA contract which you signed as a competent adult. The two are obviously in conflict. Since contracts can't override the law (well, in the US; don't know about UK), I'd guess that you can leave at EOY and (with some difficulty) get your deposit back.

IANAL though...

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    I can't find anything in the TA about a penalty, as for the giving of a notice, I can't find anything direct, only indirect references like this: landlordlawblog.co.uk/2012/04/19/…, quoting: "As tenants cannot be required to do this (give notice), clauses requesting it are likley to be void under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999." – Thermatix Dec 19 '17 at 18:06
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    Found this which has quotes and links to references: landlordlawblog.co.uk/2010/04/10/…, should he force the issue I can get trading standards on his back :P. – Thermatix Dec 19 '17 at 18:26
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    should have added to my previous comment: It basically states that clauses requiring notice periods on fixed term contracts are illegal, and should he try to force it I can get the office of fair trading on his back, so long as I leave before the end of the month, no new periodic contract is created thus I am not liable for any rent Regardless of Notice periods. – Thermatix Dec 19 '17 at 18:34
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    Note that the Office of Fair Trading no longer exists; its role has been taken over by the Competition and Markets Authority. From the same website as in the comments above, some more related info: landlordlawblog.co.uk/2017/04/26/… – Steve Melnikoff Dec 19 '17 at 21:33
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    @steveMelnikoff THANK YOU, one of the things I was trying to find was if old stuff was still relevant/applied. I hadn't had a chance to read the link till just now and the first bullet point under "The Unfair Terms rules and tenancy agreements" is what I needed to know. – Thermatix Dec 20 '17 at 10:53

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