How to End Your Tenancy

Written by Mathew McCorry

If you read my property blog now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will make you read it.

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Are you in rental property but need to relocate for a new job? Or maybe you're moving in with a partner and don't need your place anymore. Whatever the reason, in this blog we cover types of tenancy, and when and how to hand in your notice.

No matter your type of tenancy, always check the agreement before handing your notice in. It should state when and how much notice you need to give, and conditions to breaking out of your tenancy early.

Which tenancy do you have?

There are only 2 types of contract in renting: fixed term tenancy and periodic tenancy. Within the contract for both types, they will say the length of notice you need to give.

Fixed term agreement

This type of contract is set to a certain time period, such as 6 or 12 months, after which you can either renew for another fixed term or it'll automatically roll onto a monthly contract. A monthly contract can be perfect if you aren't sure how long you'll be staying there.

However, if you want to move before your fixed term has finished, you'll need to take a look at your contract and see if it says you can break it early, and if so what the conditions are. This is known as a break clause and may state different rules such as only once you've been in the property for at least 6 months can you stop the agreement early.

Periodic tenancy agreement

A periodic agreement can be ended at any time by giving sufficient notice to your landlord. Until the end of your notice period, you'll still have to pay rent. If you've never had a fixed term contract on the property you're renting, you'll be on a rolling contract such as weekly or monthly. If your fixed term agreement has ended and hasn't been renewed for another fixed term, it will automatically change to a rolling monthly or periodic agreement.

How should you hand in your notice?

Your notice to stop your tenancy, whether once it's ended or early, should always be in writing. Ensure you have your own copy as well for proof.

Sometimes your contract will state how to hand in your notice, but if it doesn't it's suggested to write a letter to your landlord and post it. Remember to get proof of postage from the post office incase you need to prove what date you sent the letter.

If you don't have your landlord's address, check your agreement as it's sometimes in there. If not, ask your landlord directly or your letting agency and they will be required to provide you with it.

A while after sending your letter, contact your landlord to ensure he or she has received it, and request a note back with a signature stating this. Sometimes you'll be able to send your notice via email instead.

When writing your notice letter, remember to state very clearly which date you are moving out, and which date your tenancy should end.

All that's left then is to get packed up and ready to move by the last day of your tenancy!

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