Landlord notice to end tenancy
UK residential landlords need to understand how to create a tenancy, end the residential tenancy, and your rights and the renter’s rights.
A landlord must know what type of tenancy to use when renting a property. Shorthold tenancy and residential landlord licence agreements give different rights to the renter and property owner.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, the government changed the eviction legislation to stop the spread of coronavirus. The notice period a landlord needs to give to evict a tenant was changed at least 3 times.
A landlord must know what the notice period is if you want to end the rental agreement. A landlord notice to end tenancy is not the same as the notice a tenant needs to give if the tenant wishes to terminate the tenancy.
Most section 21 possession claims under the accelerated route fail because the private landlord did not follow the correct procedures.
Landlord notice to end tenancy Pre Checklist
Before ending a tenancy using a section 21 notice, you want to make sure you have complied with all your legal obligations. If you fail to do so, then the section 21 notice will be invalid. You can read our blog on this subject to see if you are compliant.
Ending a tenancy
If you want to end a tenancy – This may be because your tenant has misbehaved by causing a nuisance. It can be a simple case that you wish to the property back to use as your home.
If a landlord wants to end a tenancy when the fixed term ends, they must follow the proper process. If the tenant wishes to leave, they just need to give notice in writing as stipulated in the tenancy agreement.
The standard notice a tenant needs to give his her landlord is anything between 4 to 8 weeks.
Assured shorthold tenancies (AST)
Most residential tenancy agreements in England & Wales are generally AST’s. If your tenant has signed an AST, you can take back your property by serving a Section 21 notice. Under section 21 notice, there is no requirement for you to give any reason to the tenant as to why you need your property back.
If you do not have a written tenancy agreement between you and the tenant, it is likely to be an AST by default.
The section 21 notice is also known as a no-fault eviction notice.
Landlord notice to end tenancy should only be served on the tenant if:
- It is at least six months after the original tenancy began.
- The tenancy is a rolling or periodic tenancy meaning the fixed term tenancy has expired.
- You can give a section 21 notice within the last few months of the fixed term tenancy. However, the date you require possession stated in the section 21 notice cannot be before the fixed term of the tenancy. You cant expect possession under section 21 before the fixed term tenancy has expired.
How much notice does a landlord need to give, UK?
The notice period you were required to give under section 21 in England & Wales was 2 months. How this has changed 3 times during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When serving a section 21 notice on your tenant, you should check the notice period at that time. Note the notice period for England & Wales may vary.
Ending a tenancy before the fixed-term
If your tenant has breached the terms of their tenancy agreement, like:
- Failing to pay the rent
- Using the property for illegal purposes
- Anti-social behaviour
- Domestic violence
Under section 8 notice, you can ask them to leave before the fixed term contract due to the breach
Most tenancies have a 6 months break clause which the tenant or landlord can invoke to end the tenancy. A renter’s circumstances may change, and they wish to break the tenancy agreement early, and the break clause can be used.
If a landlord wants to use a break clause, they cannot by law expect to gain possession before the 6-month rule. You cannot have a valid break clause less than 6 months from the commencement date of the AST.
Both parties, by mutual consent, of course, can end the tenancy before the 6 months if they wish to. If the landlord wants to go to court and apply the law, the 6-month break clause rule will apply.
Excluded tenancies or licences
Suppose your renter is a lodger who lives on the property with you. They share some of your facilities, like the living room or kitchen, with you.
In that case, this is called an excluded tenancy or licence. You in this type of arrangement are considered a resident landlord.
In this case, you need to give your lodger what is considered ‘reasonable notice’ to vacate.
Reasonable notice is generally taken to mean the length of your rental period. For example, if you collect rent monthly, you’ll need to give one month’s notice.
If your tenant does not leave the property
Suppose your renter fails to leave the rental property after the notice period has expired. In that case, you will need to commence the eviction process through the courts.
You can’t take steps to evict them yourself; by unlawfully changing the locks or removing their possessions. This would be classed by the courts as illegal eviction.
What is a periodic tenancy notice?
A periodic tenancy is when the fixed term contract expires and the tenancy rolls on a month to month with the same conditions and terms as the expired fixed-term tenancy.
Should I agree to a 6 month break clause?
This depends on your circumstances; if you are a landlord and may need the property back, then it is good to have 6 month break clause. If you are a tenant and are looking to rent long term and intend to make the property your home. Then for you, it makes no sense to agree to a 6 month break clause.
My tenant wants to leave before end of contract where do I stand?
You can agree to this if you wish. If you don’t want to agree to it and contractually, you can hold the tenant to the tenancy then decide on a financial arrangement for an early exit.
Can I break tenancy agreement early UK?
If the tenancy permits you to break the tenancy agreement early, then yes, you should do so by mutual consent with the landlord.
If you have a break clause, you could use it to break the tenancy early.
Giving notice to end a tenancy
Most tenancies will state the mode for a tenant to end the tenancy early. You must give written notice which is usually months notice (read the contract), for it to be a valid notice.
Author: Sarah Featherstone Date: 11th of September 2021
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