Terms and conditions of a lease
The terms and conditions of a lease explain the things a tenant and landlord must do or obey while the tenant occupies the premises.
Type of Lease
There are 3 types of leases in Jersey:
A periodic tenancy is one that keeps running or continuing until notice is served, so long as the rent is paid every period. The period is calculated by when the rent is paid. For example, if rent is paid every month it is a monthly periodic tenancy. If rent is paid every three months it is a quarterly periodic tenancy.
A fixed term tenancy is created when the landlord and tenant sign a lease that has a statement or term in it which says how long the lease is going to last for. This is the fixed term. The terms of a fixed term tenancy may or may not have a term that allows the tenant to ask for a renewal of the lease.
Any lease that does not include a term is automatically a periodic tenancy.
A contract lease is a lease over property that has a length of 9 years or more agreed at the start of the lease. A contract lease needs to be presented to the Royal Court so that the details of it can be recorded in the Public Registry. Stamp duty must be paid by the tenant based upon the rent charged for the property.
Renewal of a lease
A renewal of a lease is the name given to a lease which has finished but which the landlord and tenant agree to continue or start again. The landlord and tenant agree to continue the lease for another term so it is renewed.
If a lease has a clause about renewal in it, the landlord and tenant can discuss renewal before the current lease runs out. If there is no renewal clause it is good practice for parties to discuss their intentions well in advance of the lease ending.
Cost of a lease
The landlord is entitled to pass on to the tenant the cost of having a lease prepared and written up. This cost must be disclosed to the tenant before they accept the lease as this is material information.
Some leases include a clause allowing the tenant to transfer the lease to another tenant. This is called an assignment or re-assignment.
If there is no mention of being able to assign the lease, an assignment is still possible with the landlord’s permission.
If there is an assignment clause it means that the tenant can leave the premises before the end of the lease without giving notice to end the tenancy, so long as they have found someone to take on the lease. Assignments can be acceptable to a landlord because the new tenant has taken on the responsibilities of the lease and the landlord does not have to look for a new tenant when the lease expires or lose any rent.