Ending your tenancy can be tricky, depending on the end results you desire. But nevertheless, there is a right and a wrong way to leave a property.
The wrong one is to abandon the apartment/house without giving your landlord notice. Needless to say, such actions come with consequences like having to pay extra rent or take care of bills like council tax. In this article, we are going to discuss the correct way to leave a property or in other words: How to write a moving out letter to your landlord in the UK.
What Is Your Type Of Lease?
There are two types of tenancies one can have - a fixed term and a periodic one.
A fixed-term tenancy means that you can live in a property up to a certain date, while a periodic tenancy or rolling tenancy continues for a month or week.
How To End A Fixed Tenancy
When you have a fixed tenancy, you’ll have to pay your last rent no later than the end date of the agreement. Having to pay extra applies in situations in which your stay in the property passed the fixed date or if you haven’t given proper notice.
How To End A Periodic Tenancy
If you have a periodic tenancy, you can end it at any given moment. All you have to do is give notice to your landlord and pay your rent by the agreed-upon end date. You can call your tenancy periodic if:
- You’ve never had a fixed-term tenancy for the property;
- You have a rolling tenancy agreement;
- You’ve had a fixed tenancy agreement, it ended and now you have a rolling one.
What To Do In Case Of A Joint Tenancy
If you live with other people and have a joint tenancy, first you must get the agreement of your landlord and to the other tenants to move out. After that, you’ll give to give them notice to end your fixed term joint tenancy. In case your fixed term joint tenancy comes with a break clause, all of the other tents of the property must agree to end the tenancy.
Note: If you end your tenancy, it ends for the rest of the property occupants as well.
If your joint tenancy is periodic, you can leave the property without the agreement of the other tenants, while still giving them proper notice. Again, like with the fixed term agreement - if you end your tenancy, the other tenants must leave, too.
How To Give Notice
The first thing that you should do is to check your tenancy agreement for any specific requirements regarding your notice. If the document doesn’t contain firm details, notice your landlord by writing a letter.
Before you send them the notice, it’s a good idea to talk with your landlord or letting agent to confirm that they have received your letter by either singing a note or letter. In case you don’t have your landlord’s address, you can find it in the tenancy agreement or in your rent book. If you still can’t find the information, just give them a call. And if you happen to be renting the property through an agent, get in touch for the right address.
In case of disputes and rough tenant-landlord relations, you could consider informing your moving company. According to moving professional Ryan Banks, relocation companies could provide you with audio record of you stating that your final notice letter was deposited. In case your landlord pleads the opposite, it will help in court. Just ask for it.
Sample Letter To a Landlord Template When Moving In The UK
Writing a proper notice letter to your landlord is extremely important. If you aren’t sure how to construct your letter, you can follow the letter to a landlord template located below:
Sample Notice Letter courtesy of End Of Tenancy. Download their free letter here.
We advise you to keep a copy of the letter and some sort of evidence that you’ve sent it in case you have to prove that you have sent it.
When do I have to give my notice letter?
It really does depend on what you’ve discussed with your landlord and on the information in your tenancy agreement. Make sure to double-check with the document. Most of the time the agreement states that you have to give a minimum of 30 days notice, but there are cases in which landlords want to be warned 2 or 3 months in advance so he or she has more time to find new tenants for the property. In some cases, the lease agreement might implicitly say 45 or 60 days of notice for non-renewal of rent.
But what if I can’t give notice?
You can try to leave the property without giving notice and with your landlord’s agreement in the following scenarios:
- You have to evacuate the property during the fixed term
- You have a periodic tenancy but you have to leave the property and can’t give the agreed-upon notice
In both situations, it’s a good idea to try to explain why you need to leave the apartment/house earlier. Best case scenario - your landlord will understand the situation and you won’t have to pay anything. That being said, if they aren’t OK with you moving out earlier, you’ll have to pay anything.
Don't leave the property without giving any sort of notice. If you do so, your ex-landlord can get a court order and you’ll still have to pay all of the rent you own them. Also, you can get yourself into future trouble like not being able to get your tenancy deposit back and building up rent arrears if your landlord continues to charge you. It’s always a good idea to contact your nearest Citizens Advice for more information on how to end your tenancy earlier.
They can give you advice on your notice options in order to avoid potential problems when looking for a new property to rent out.
Moving out of the property
No matter what you’ve agreed upon with your landlord, you need to leave the property in the condition you’ve found it in prior to moving. This step is vital if you wish to secure your deposit back. Before you start cleaning the property yourself, check your tenancy agreement - there is a chance that it says that you have to get your property professionally cleaned.
Moving out of a property is not as simple as packing your stuff and leaving. There are a lot of procedures that have to be followed in order to make the experience as stress-free as possible both for you and your landlord. The best way to ensure a smooth process is by discussing all questions and issues regarding the end of your tenancy with your landlord.
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