Short term tenancies

Question from Steve updated on 22nd February 2011:

I have been thinking about offering a short fixed term tenancy (1 month)and renewing it if all goes well and the rent is paid. The plan would be to subsequently extend the fixed term period until a satisfactory rental history is established whereupon the tenancy could then become an open term. I heard about this from someone else and wonder if there is anything to be gained. Is one able to remove tenants in a quicker manner for non payment by not renewing a fixed term tenancy as opposed to the standard notice required in an open term tenancy

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Offering short-fixed term tenancies for the purpose of avoiding notice requirements specified in the Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) may be considered an unlawful act by the Tenancy Tribunal, and may result in a penalty of up to $750. In the case of either a fixed-term or periodic tenancy, if a tenant is in breach of the Act, the landlord can give the tenant a 10 working days’ notice to remedy that breach.

If not complied with the landlord can seek termination through the Tenancy Tribunal. A template for a 10 working days’ notice can be downloaded from the Department of Building and Housing’s website ( To discuss your situation further, or for information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can visit the Department Of Building and Housing website (, or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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