Giving notice to your landlord means you want to move out and end your tenancy. If you don’t correctly hand your notice in, you could end up paying rent and bills even after you’ve moved out.
Always check your tenancy agreement before handing your notice in, it will detail when and how much notice you need to give. If you want to break out of your tenancy contract early, your landlord may agree to it but could apply early termination costs if the tenancy agreement states they can.
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Types of tenancy
There’s two types of tenancy, fixed term and periodic/rolling. In both cases, they will state the length of notice you need to give in the contract.
As is in the name, you’re tied into your tenancy contract for a fixed period of time and need to pay rent until the end. Towards the finish of the tenancy, if you wish to stay in the property it’s best to notify your landlord if you want to sort out another fixed term contract, or it automatically changes to monthly rolling (which is sometimes preferable).
If you want to move out before the end of your fixed term, check to see if your contract says you can and what the conditions are, or ask your landlord for permission. If it’s in your contract, it’s known as a break clause and different rules can apply. For example, you may only be able to apply the break clause after 6 months of tenancy. It’s best to check the break clause closely as even if you don’t plan to leave the property early, you may decide to later down the line and the option to leave the contract early gives you the flexibility to do so.
If your tenancy is periodic, you can end it at any time by giving your landlord notice. You’ll still have to pay rent to the end of your notice period. Periodic tenancies apply if:
- your fixed term tenancy has ended and you haven’t renewed it for another fixed term, it’ll automatically roll on monthly
- you’ve not had a fixed term contract in that property and it’s rolling, such as monthly or weekly
Handing in your notice
Have a look and see if your contract says how you should give in your notice for leaving your rental property. If nothing is specified, give your notice by writing a letter to your landlord, always make sure it’s in writing.
Check your landlord has received your notice, and ask them to sign in order to confirm receipt.
If you don’t have your landlord’s address, check your tenancy agreement. If it’s not on there, you can ask your landlord or letting agent.
In your letter of notice, you need to clearly show the date you’re moving out, and remember to keep a copy along with proof of posting it. This is just a precaution in case you need to prove when you posted the letter.
You may be able to send your notice via email, just check your tenancy agreement.
I began writing for Property Press Online in October 2019. Particular areas of interest are housing market news and new developments in the market.