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How to end a tenancy agreement

If you are about to change homes and you want to end your tenancy agreement, you are required to let your landlord know in advance, or in a few words, you need to give notice. But, you need to do it the right way because otherwise you may have to pay rent even though you are not dwelling the property any longer. When it comes to the notice itself, depending on the type of tenancy you have agreed with, you will know when you have to give it and how much in advance it has to be.

In case you are not able to tell the amount of notice, it is not impossible to hit it off together with you landlord and end your tenancy agreement earlier.

Make sure to check what type of tenancy you have

Broadly speaking, there are two types of tenancy- fixed term tenancy and periodic tenancy. To cut a long story short, the first type of tenancy ends on a certain date of the month, the second type can continue on a monthly or even weekly basis. The periodic tenancy is often referred to as rolling tenancy.

Fixed term tenancy

You are required to pay for the rent before the fixed term ends. You are able to end the tenancy if the agreement allows it or if the landlord agrees to end it. If according to the agreement you are allowed to end the tenancy, this is called ‘break clause’ and you can see in what case you can apply it. For instance, it may be said that you are able to end your tenancy eight months after it came into force but only if you give a one month’s notice. However, some break clauses come with different conditions such as stating that you cannot have arrears of rent. It is of a great importance to pay attention to those break clause so you will be familiar with how and when you can end the tenancy. You are required to follow each and every one of the conditions, or otherwise you may not be able to end the tenancy.

Periodic tenancy

You are able to end the tenancy agreement at any time suitable for you but only of you give your landlord a notice and, of course, you have a periodic tenancy. The case is that you are expected to pay for the rent before the notice period ends.

Your tenancy is periodic if:
– your fixed term tenancy has come to an end but the tenancy continues to roll on
– you do not have a fixed term tenancy and you pay for the rent every month or week

Notice you are expected to provide

The amount of notice you are expected to provide in order to end your tenancy is based on what type of tenancy you have. Make sure to check the tenancy agreement so that you will know what amount of notice you should give. If there is a break clause, then the minimum notice you have to give is the amount of notice the clause says. There are cases in which there is no break clause. This would mean that you are not allowed to give any notice. You can vacate the property only after the fixed term ends.

If the type of tenancy you have is a periodic tenancy, there are two options- you live with your landlord or you do not. In case you live with the landlord, you may not have to give a notice and reach an agreement with your landlord when to leave. If you do not live together, 1 month’s notice is the minimum amount of notice you have to give but only if you pay rent on a monthly basis. If you pay rent on a weekly monthly, the minimum is 4 weeks’ notice.

When to give notice

The good news is that you can give notice at any time convenient for you but only if the agreement allows it. The notice must end on the very first or the very last day of the tenancy period. For example, if the tenancy period lasts from the 2nd of each month to the 1st of the next one, then the beginning of the period is 2nd and the end is the 1st. This would mean that the notice has to end on 2nd or 1st of the month.

If you live with other tenants, the tenancy is called joint tenancy. When the tenancy ends for you, it ends for everybody. If there is a break clause in the fixed term joint tenancy, each and every one of the tenants has to agree on ending the tenancy (unless something else is stated in the agreement). If it is a periodic joint tenancy, you are allowed to provide the notice without the agreement of the your other co-tenants.

Giving the notice

Nowadays, the ways of giving the notice may vary. You can either write a letter or email your landlord. The address must be put in the agreement. It is in your landlord’s duties to provide contact details. If the property is rented from a real estate agent, then they can give you the information you need.

If somehow you cannot give notice, then you should try to reach an agreement with the landlord. Feel free to tell your landlord why you wish to end the tenancy earlier than expected. For example, you may want to end it because your boss has sent you on a long business trip or the work location has changed. Unfortunately, your landlord may not agree with your reasons. In such case, you will have to pay rent even though you are not dwelling the property or stay.

Moving out of the rented property

You are expected to deep clean the property and leave it as good looking as it is stated in the move-in report. It is in your interest to do it or otherwise you may lose your security deposit. You need to make sure whether the tenancy agreement says that you have to get the property cleaned by a professional company.

You also need to make sure that all bills are paid.