Fixed term standard contracts
- A fixed term standard occupation contract is a type of renting agreement usually given by private landlord
- If you have a fixed term standard contract you can only be evicted during the fixed term if you breach the contract
- Your landlord has to get a court order to evict you.
If you moved into your home before 1 December 2022 the information below does not apply to you. Please visit our converted contracts advice section.
This section explains the rights you have if you have a fixed term standard occupation contract with a private landlord. It covers the rights you have to live in your home without interference and to get repairs done.
Do I have a fixed term standard contract?
A fixed term standard contract is one of 2 types of occupation contracts that private landlords can give. ‘Fixed term’ means that your contract is for a fixed period of time, and the contract must specify a start and end date. The other type of contract a private landlord can give is a periodic standard contract.
In some situations you can rent from a private landlord and not have a periodic or fixed term standard contract. Please see here for these exceptions.
What information should I be given at the start of my contract?
Your landlord must give you a written contract within 14 days of your contract starting. The contract will explain your rights and the responsibilities that you and your landlord have. It must also contain certain information. If your landlord doesn’t give you the written contract or the information in it is wrong, find out what you can do here.
You should also be given:
- a contact address for your landlord
- information about the deposit protection scheme used by your landlord if you have paid a deposit;
- a copy of the annual gas safety check dated within the last year
- an electrical installation condition report dated within the last 5 years
- an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) dated within the last 10 years
If your landlord has not provided the above information, they may not be able to evict you using a ‘no fault’ (landlord’s break clause) notice. If your landlord has given you an eviction notice get help.
Can I be evicted?
If you have a fixed term standard occupation contract, your landlord can’t evict you during the fixed term unless you have breached the contract or if your contract contains a landlord’s break clause. A break clause is a term that allows your landlord to end the contract during the fixed term. You should check your contract to see if it has a break clause.
To use the a break clause to evict you your landlord must have given you certain information, and complied with deposit protection and licensing rules.Your landlord is also not allowed to evict you using a break clause just because you asked for repairs to be done in your home.
Your landlord must follow the correct procedure by giving you written notice and getting a court order.
For more information see our advice about eviction of fixed term standard contract-holders.
If you receive a notice from your landlord, get help.
If your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order it may be a criminal offence. Your local council should help if you have been illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord. You may also be able to get a court order to force your landlord to allow you back into the property. Get help urgently if you are in this situation.
What are the rules on rent and rent increases?
You must pay the rent that you agreed with your landlord. If you don’t pay your rent your landlord can take court action to evict you.
Read your contract to see what it says about how the rent should be paid.
If you have a fixed term standard contract your landlord cannot increase your rent during the fixed term.
Your rent should always be your top financial priority as you could lose your home if you get into rent arrears. If you are claiming benefits or have a low income, you may be able to claim housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs to help with the rent.
Can my landlord change my contract?
Your contract can only be changed if you agree. Terms that can be changed are:
- some fundamental terms (some fundamental terms cannot be changed even if you and the landlord agreed)
- any supplementary and additional terms
If you agree to changes to any fundamental, supplementary or additional term, your landlord should give you a ‘written statement of variation’, or a new written occupation contract in full, including the change, within 14 days. If your landlord fails to provide you with either of these, get help.
Should my landlord be registered?
Yes. Every private landlord in Wales should be registered with the Rent Smart Wales scheme. In addition, landlords who self-manage those properties, or agents who have been appointed by the landlord, must have a license.
You can check if your landlord and/or agent is registered or licensed by searching the public register. If they are not registered and/or licensed they might be committing a criminal offence and could face penalties. They may not be able to evict you. See our pages on landlord registration and licensing for more information.
Who is responsible for repairs?
- problems with the roof, guttering, windows, doors and brickwork
- plumbing, gas and electricity.
Your landlord should give you information about what repairs you are responsible for, which usually includes internal decoration and putting right any damage you cause.
If your home needs repairs, report the problem to your landlord straight away. Your landlord should carry out the necessary repairs within a reasonable time after they are made aware of them.
Find out more about repairs if you have a private landlord here.
Your right to live in your home without interference
You have the right to live in your home without interference from the landlord or anyone acting on their behalf. If your landlord tries to do this s/he may be guilty of harassment, which is against the law. To find out more about what you can do if your landlord is harassing you, read our advice about harassment and illegal eviction.
Getting other people to live with you
You should check your occupation contract to see if you can allow other people to live with you. Usually you will be allowed ‘permitted occupiers’ (for example a partner) but your contract might not permit you to take in a lodger or sublet any of the property.
Can I transfer my occupation contract to someone else?
You can’t usually transfer a fixed term standard contract someone else. Even if your contract allows you to transfer to someone else, it is likely to require the consent of the landlord to do so.
Can I pass on my contract when I die?
As a fixed term standard contract-holder, there are rules about who the contract can be passed on to. The legal process for passing your contract on when you die is called ‘succession’. The rules for succession rights can be complicated.
What happens at the end of my fixed term standard occupation contract?
If you continue living in your home beyond the end of the fixed term, your contract will automatically become a periodic standard contract unless you and your landlord agree to a new fixed term contract. Check your initial fixed term standard contract to see if there will be any changes to the fundamental or supplementary terms when it automatically becomes a periodic standard contract.
Your landlord will not usually need to provide a new written occupation contract for a periodic standard contract that arises at the end of a fixed term standard contract. If you are unsure about the terms of your occupation contract after the end of the fixed term, get help.
How can I end my fixed term occupation contract?
If you have a fixed term standard contract you usually cannot end the contract early unless your landlord agrees to a ‘surrender’ or if the contract contains a ‘contract-holder’s break clause’.
If your contract has a break clause, the contract should explain the circumstances in which you can end the contract. By law, you need to give at least 4 weeks’ notice in writing to your landlord, unless the contract states you must give longer notice.