Fixed Term Tenancy
Two kinds of tenancy agreements: Indefinite and fixed-term
Your agreement will be one of the following two kinds:
- Indefinite (“periodic”) tenancies – A “periodic tenancy” is one that just keeps going until either you or the landlord gives notice to the other that you want to end it. There’s no fixed end date. If your agreement says nothing at all about when it will end, it’s a periodic tenancy.
- Fixed-term tenancies – A fixed-term tenancy lasts for a set time, like six months or one year. It has a start date and an end date recorded in the agreement.
When you move into a new place that you’re renting, the law says that the landlord has to provide you with a written tenancy agreement and that the agreement has to deal with certain issues.
The tenancy agreement is a legal contract between you and the landlord. If your landlord doesn’t do something they’ve agreed to in it, you can take them to the Tenancy Tribunal later in this chapter).
Landlords have to provide a written agreement
Your tenancy agreement has to be in writing, and it needs to be signed by both you and the landlord. The landlord must give you a copy of the agreement with their signature on it before the tenancy starts. If you renew the tenancy or if there are any changes, those also have to be put in writing.
If your tenancy agreement isn’t in writing, or if it’s written but not signed, you still have all the same minimum rights that tenants have under the Residential Tenancies Act. The rule that the agreement has to be in writing is there to give a tenant more protection – it doesn’t allow landlords to get around their minimum obligations under this Act by avoiding having a written agreement.
If you do only have a spoken agreement, the terms of your agreement will be the rights and responsibilities set down in the Act, plus whatever you’ve agreed to verbally with your landlord.