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Ending a tenancy

How to end a tenancy agreement

Some landlords may decide to evict a tenant in response to a complaint made to the council about outstanding repairs. This is called retaliatory eviction. New legislation came into force to protect tenants from immediate retaliatory eviction, affecting new tenancies, or tenancy renewals agreed on or after the 1 October 2015.

Further guidance can be found on the template letters in the relevant documents section. For further information visit the website.

As a landlord, you must serve the tenant a Section 21 notice, giving notice that you want to end the tenancy. Further guidance can be found on the website.

Landlords should be aware that tenants cannot, in any circumstances, be evicted without a court order and that eviction without a court order is a criminal offence and you could be prosecuted.

At the end of the tenancy, you must return the deposit. Any disputes will be resolved by the scheme provider.

Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 allows you to serve a notice for non-payment of rent.

At the end of the tenancy fixed period?

If the tenant wants to stay in the property you can chose to sign up to a new fixed term.

If the tenant wants to end the tenancy?

The tenant must give a minimum one month notice in writing, to coincide with the rental period of the property.  For example;  if a tenant started their tenancy on the 16 of the month, their month notice would expire on the 15 of the month. This is when they would be expected to move out. The new rental period would start again on the following day the 16 when the new monthly rental payment is due.

Moving out at the end of the tenancy

The tenant must return the property in a good condition, allowing for general wear and tear.  The property must be handed over, with the same levels of cleanliness, as when they took the property over at the start of the tenancy.

The property must be clear of all their possessions (including any furniture and rubbish) which belonged to the tenant of their family members.

If any such possessions are left in the property after the tenancy has ended, the tenant could be responsible for storage or removal charges. The landlord is obliged to store left items for up to a month, however it is not considered reasonable to store perishable items for example food. The landlord must make reasonable steps to notify the items where they are stored, so they can be collected. After a month the items can be disposed of. The proceeds from any sale can be used to offset any removal or storage costs.

The tenant must give vacant possession and return all keys to the landlord at the end of the tenancy.  They must also provide a forwarding address.

Related content

Letter 1 Tenant Request for Repairs (Word document)

Letter 2 Tenant Request for Repairs (Word document) – Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured shorthold tenancy

Contact details

Home Improvement Team, New Oxford House, 2 George Street, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HB

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01472 326296

Opening times: Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4:30 pm, except bank holidays