The duration of a residential lease may be freely agreed between the landlord and tenant, though, if it is for less than five years, the lease becomes renewable on a yearly basis. This is obligatory and may not be avoided unless agreed to by the tenant.
That said, if the contract contains an express provision to the effect that the property will be required for the landlord’s own habitual residence within the five year period, a contract may be made for less than five years.
Note should be taken, that failure on the part of the landlord to occupy the property may result in damages arising in favour of the tenant.
At the end of the five year period, if neither of the parties informs the other of an intention to not renew the lease, the lease becomes automatically renewable on a yearly basis for a further period of three years unless the tenant gives one months notice of an intention to quit.