News & Blog

Ask the Expert’ – lettings advice from HF Assist

Dale James, is a specialist HF Assist Advisor to letting agents in the private rented sector. With over 25 years’ experience in lettings, there’s not much that Dale doesn’t know about supporting landlords, agents and tenants through tricky tenancies and the ever-changing legislative landscape of the private rented sector.


Here, Dale shares our answers to some of the most asked questions by agents calling HF Assist’s helpline, focussing this month on fixed term tenancies, notice periods – and electric vehicles.


Fixed term tenancies FAQs


Q.What is a fixed term tenancy?”

A. A fixed term tenancy is when you have a clear start date and a specific end date, usually tenancies have fixed terms of six or 12 months


Q.Does the tenancy end when the fixed terms ends, and is the tenant then a squatter?”

A. When the fixed term ends the contract continues on a month by month basis, this is common known as a periodic tenancy.


Q.Does a tenant have to give notice to vacate at the end of the fixed term?”

A. No, there is no legal requirement for a tenant to give notice if they intend to vacate on the last day of the fixed term. But obviously it’s helpful if they do.


Q.How much notice has to be given to end a periodic tenancy?”

A. For tenants the notice period is one month in line with rent due dates. The landlord will always have to give two months’ notice using a Section 21 notice.


Q.What is the difference between a contractual periodic and a statutory periodic tenancy?”

A. Contractual periodic occurs once the fixed term has ended, as long as the fixed term had a ‘continuation clause’ such as “This tenancy will continue month by month on the same terms”.  This means all clauses in the fixed term, such as rent increase clauses,  carry on into the contractual periodic.

Statutory periodic occurs once the fixed term ends and there is no continuation clause. This means any clauses such as rent increase clauses cannot be carried over. A statutory periodic, in law, creates a brand new tenancy, so it is important to issue the tenant with all the compliance documents again such as the ‘How to rent’ guide, EPC and gas certificate, update the deposit protection and provide all the prescribed information.


Electric vehicle FAQs


Q. “Does a tenant need to ask permission to have an electric vehicle?”

A. No, a tenant doesn’t need to ask permission to have an electric vehicle, but they will need to ask permission to install an EV charging point at the property.


Q. “Does a landlord have any responsibility if a tenant has an e-bike or e-scooter?”

A. Yes, a landlord or agent will be the ‘responsible person’ for a residential building covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. You should be seriously considering how to handle the storage and charging of Electric Powered Personal Vehicles (EPPVs) at your properties and how to address this directly with tenants. In a recent podcast with the NRLA, Charlie Pugsley, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety at the London Fire Brigade, highlighted that fires relating to e-bikes and e-scooters is the fastest growing fire trend in London currently.  The London Fire Brigade has produced detailed guidance for the charging and storage of electric powered personal vehicles and he advises landlords to share the guidance and Charge Safe advice with tenants so that they understand the risks.


Q. “Does a landlord need additional insurance if the tenant has an EV?” 

A. Maybe, traditional landlord insurance policies may not cover this new trend when it comes to fire damage at the property caused by the tenant’s EV. The tenant will also need to check if their car insurance covers damage, especially if the tenant isn’t using the correct charging point. Our insurance partner, Total Landlord, also powered by Total Property, will be able to offer guidance on landlord insurance requirements.


Q. “Can I evict a tenant for charging their EV at the property?”

A. Maybe, to issue notice for possession under Section 8, the landlord will need to prove grounds for possession. If the tenancy agreement has clear terms that prohibit the tenant from charging their EV directly at the property, then the landlord could rely on ground 12. However, if the contract is silent, then the landlord won’t be able to prove any breach of contract. Our legal partner, Landlord Action, also powered by Total Property, can advise on any legal queries relating to this issue.


The HF Assist helpline provides practical expert guidance and information from call handlers who have both legal and lettings experience, making sure you are informed and prepared for the day-to-day challenges of running your business. Upgrading to an HF Assist Premium subscription provides a 24/7 helpline covering all types of legal issues relating to a letting agent’s business, as well as access to a resources library with useful guides, documents and legal templates. For more information visit the HF Assist website.


News & Blog

Ask the Expert’ – lettings advice from HF Assist

Electric vehicles in rented properties, and what happens when a fixed term tenancy ends?

Read More »

The death, the resurrection and the death again of the Renters (Reform) Bill

The Renters (Reform) Bill saga gets curiouser and curiouser and may have disappeared down a rabbit ...

Read More »
View All

View All

Authorised by

Property Redress Scheme is approved by Government under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015