A fixed-term lease is a rental agreement that ends on a specific date. Typically, fixed-term leases last for a year—so, for instance, a lease starting on August 1st would end on July 31st of the following year. However, fixed-term leases could potentially be as short as a month (any shorter and you’re entering short-term rental territory) or as long as five or 10 years (although it’s highly unlikely you’d find a residential lease of that length).
Under a fixed-term lease, the terms of the lease agreement are locked in until the agreed-upon end date. A landlord can’t raise the rent or kick out a tenant for no reason until the lease expires. And a tenant can't break a fixed-term lease early without their landlord's agreement—except in a handful of specific scenarios.
By contrast, a periodic tenancy is one with no set end date that automatically renews each "period"—typically month-to-month, although they can be weekly or even quarterly.
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