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Ending a tenancy as a tenant


If you want to end your tenancy. This page explains what you have to do in order to leave a property that you’ve been renting. You are protected by law against harassment and unlawful eviction, so if your landlord wants to end the tenancy there is a process they have to follow.

Giving notice to leave

If you want to move out of rented accommodation, you must give your landlord notice.

Your tenancy agreement should state how much notice you need to give before moving out. Usually you will have to give your landlord at least 28 days’ notice that you want to leave.

If you are a joint tenant and you want to end the tenancy, you will need to get the other joint tenants' permission, because this will end the tenancy for everyone.

Arranging landlord access

Once you’ve given your notice, your landlord will probably want to show potential tenants round the property. Your landlord will need to give you reasonable notice of any viewings (at least 24 hours), which you can refuse if the times are unsuitable for you.

Paying utility and council tax bills and redirecting post

Tell all utilities companies that you're leaving the property, and send them the meter readings so they can send you a final bill. Your landlord may ask you to prove that you've paid the final bills before you move out.

Don't ask for the services to be disconnected.

If you are leaving rented accommodation, your landlord will then have to pay to have them reconnected and may take the money out of your deposit.

Also inform your council of the date that you are moving out, to avoid them billing you for council tax after you move out.

Before you move out it is always good idea to set up a redirect of post to your new address. This normally takes a week or so to set up, so the sooner you inform Royal Mail the better.

Leave the property clean and tidy

Leave the property in a clean and tidy state. It is a good idea to take photos of the property on the day you leave, just to prove that you have left it in a presentable state. Double check what the tenancy agreement says, if anything, about what you have to do in this property when you leave – for example cleaning the windows.

Checking the inventory

Check your inventory, make sure that you haven’t lost anything (if you have, replace it) and make sure that the furniture is in the same place as it was at the start of the tenancy.

Speak to your landlord about their checkout process, and try and be at the property when any inspection takes place so any issues can be raised and answered there and then.

Getting your deposit back

At the end of your tenancy your landlord will apply to the respective Tenancy Deposit Scheme for the repayment of your deposit. The application will include details of deductions and the amount of the deposit to be returned. You will be contacted by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to see if you agree with the amount of deposit that is to be returned to you. If you do agree then you will receive the agreed amount within five working days.

The landlord wants me to leave

A private residential tenancy can only be ended by 1 of 3 ways:

  • the tenant giving notice and leaving or, 
  • the tenant agrees with the a landlord to leave, 
  • the landlord wants possession of the property and obtains an eviction order.

Your landlord will need to give you either 28 or 84 day’s notice that they intend to apply for an eviction notice. The period of notice will depend on how long you has been in the property and which ground their are applying for eviction. The form a landlord needs to use is called a ‘notice to leave'.

If you are still in the property after the notice period is over, then the landlord will have to apply to the Housing and Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal for an eviction order.

Wrongful termination of tenancy

If your tenancy has been ended, by the landlord serving notice or by the granting of an eviction order from the First Tier Tribunal, and you believe this was because of misleading information, you can apply to the tribunal for a wrongful termination order.

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