Many people do not pay attention to the clauses in their tenancy agreements. The truth is that, you don’t need to but when you don’t, make sure your lawyers do. If this doesn’t happen, you may be in for a big embarrassment like so many tenants out there who have been embarrassed just because they did not study the tenancy agreement given to them by their landlord.
Before I continue, if you see the clause [restrict] “FIXED TERM” in your tenancy agreement, please run as fast as your legs can carry you. Do not sign.
WHAT IS THE FIXED TERM?
In describing the duration of your tenancy, the landlord may slip in the clause “fixed term” or “Fixed term certain” into the contract and if you sign it, it has consequences.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?
If FIXED TERM is used to describe your tenancy, it simple means that your tenancy expires at the end of the first year of your rent without an implied right to renew. It does not qualify you for the second year or make your rent recurrent.
It denies you the advantages that come with being a periodic tenant of 1year,6months, monthly etc. In other words, you are neither a yearly tenant, quarterly tenant nor a monthly tenant but a tenant with fixed term.
Periodic tenants are usually protected under the law by the duration of quit notice to be issued to them but tenants with fixed term certain are not entitled to it.
For example, Usually, a landlord is required to issue a Six months’ notice if he wants to eject a yearly tenant from his house, a week’s notice for a weekly tenant, three months’ notice for a quarterly tenant, three months’ notice for a half yearly tenant.
However, in the case of a tenancy for a fixed term, no notice to quit is required. After the term has expired, what the landlord is required to do is to give the tenant a 7days notice in writing that he intends to go to court to recover his property. After the seven days, he will go to court and obtain an order to eject the tenant.
So, next time you are given a tenancy agreement to sign, make sure you look at it properly before you sign. Many landlords and their lawyers are using this to keep tenants humbled.
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