The Ultimate Guide on How to End a Period Tenancy

Ultimate Guide how to End a Periodic Tenancy

Is my tenancy agreement a period one?

A periodic tenancy is a tenancy which doesn’t have a particular end date or a certain set length to it. Examples of a periodic tenancy include week to week or a month to month tenancy agreements, which allow you to end the agreement rather quickly without the need to reimburse the landlord for the time you’re not going to use his/her property.
One of the benefits or periodic tenancy agreements is just that - the fact that you’re not committing to a long relationship with the landlord or the area in which the property you are renting is located. It lets you move quicker, but it has it’s downsides as well. One of those is the fact that the landlord can ask you to end the tenancy one-sidedly with a short notice in the exact same way you can and the other one is that periodic tenancy agreements often require a higher rent. Periodic tenancy agreements are often offered with rent being about 20 to 50% higher compared to fix-length tenancies.

Now that you know what a periodic tenancy agreement is, let’s dive into the ways you can end one should you need to do so.

End of tenancy notice letter

As with any other type of official procedure, ending it begins with an official document that’ll begin the process. You will need to write a notice to request the end of the tenancy and this document is often referred to as a “notice to quit”. The letter doesn’t need to include a ton of information and is relatively simple. We have actually created a PDF generator, that you’ll probably find handy below, so feel free to use it and generate a letter to your landlord.

You can download a template from here

The letter usually contains the following information as you’ll find below in the generator:

  • Your first name
  • Landlord’s name and address
  • The date your notice period begins

In order to determine when the notice should begin, please consider the following information: In case your periodic tenancy agreement has a notice period specifed in it, make sure you follow this period and specify the length in there. If your periodic tenancy rolls from month to month, then the the notice should be 1 month long. If the periodic tenancy is on a week by week basis, the notice takes 4 weeks to kick into effect, which means the period is pretty much identical in either situation.

Type of Tenancy Notice to give
Fixed Term Tenancy
If you’ve got a break clause. Amount of notice as described in the agreement
If you don’t have a break clause. You can’t give notice to leave before the end of your fixed term tenancy. You don’t usually need to give notice to leave on the last day of your fixed term. If you stay after the fixed term, you’ll have a periodic tenancy. Check what notice you need to give when you have a periodic tenancy.

It’s really important to make sure you have proof of receipt from the landlord once the letter has been given to him/her. There are two possible situations here. The first option is for you to give the letter in person, in which case it’s important to ask for a proof of receipt, which is a signed document that you’ve given the notice in person. The second option is to send it via Royal mail or another form of mail service. In this case you would be best off if you send it using recorded delivery. Make sure you keep the recorded delivery to make sure you have ironclad defence in case your landlord turns out to be an unpleasant person whos only goal is to withhold your deposit for himself. Email is only a valid form of communication, but only if your contract has the agreement that communication over email is accepted as a formal form of communication.

Another pretty important point is to make sure that you have calculated that the notice end date is the one in which your tenancy is supposed to end. E.g. If you have started the tenancy on the 15th of April and pay every week or month on the 17th, the end date will be again the 14th (if it’s a month to month) and the 21st if it’s a weekly tenancy agreement. The payment date and the tenancy begin date are often different, so make sure you have the right one. On the 15th a new period will begin and a new payment will be due. To avoid paying an additional week or month, make sure you end the agreement on the correct date and have vacated by then.

In some instances the landlord might agree to void the period and let you leave earlier, which is sometimes more convenient for both parties. If the landlord finds new potential tenants available to move in earlier, it’s better for him/her to let you leave earlier so the new people can move in straight away. It’s not necessary for you to accept those conditions, but if the landlord is good enough to offer you this option, it’ll be nice if you can return the favor.

Have in mind that the landlord might not be a great person, so it might be a good idea to have proof of your communication about your surrender of the tenancy prior to the end date. Always make sure you’re prepared with documents to ensure you can claim the deposit easily using the small claims court.

Paying the final month’s rent before the end of the tenancy

Even though you’re ending the tenancy if the payment date is past the end date, you’re still required to pay the final amount to the landlord. This is pretty much common sense and anyone that’s ever been a tenant in the UK knows how this works, but it’s still important to note, especially for people that are just coming to the UK. Just keep in mind that your landlord can decide and withhold money from the deposit you initially paid to cover the last week/month’s rent before transferring the rest of the deposit back to you.

Can I end the tenancy without giving notice

Leaving and terminating a tenancy without any notice is possible, but you are risking a lot in the process and are almost always going to lose the full deposit for one reason or another. There are a few ways which you can go ahead and terminate the tenancy one-sidedly, but this doesn’t end the agreement you’ve come into when you signed your tenancy agreement in the first place. If you just up and leave and put the keys to the apartment or house under a rock and send a text message to your landlord that you’re no longer living there, this doesn’t terminate your legal agreement with him/her. It’s much more complicated than that and people should be aware of that.

The process described above is known as abandonment, but it’s far from an end of the tenancy agreement. If you have agreed to an advanced payment via bank transfer, it’ll continue rolling in month by month, until the tenancy is over legally speaking. Even if that’s not the case and you’ve paying cash, unless the landlord has a notice of termination as described above, the agreement you have continue until further notice. You’ll be charged legally or the landlord can claim money in a legal way if you don’t have the proof that you’ve initiated an end of tenancy with a notice as described in the first section above.

And that’s just a part of the issues that you could face afterwards. There are a lot of websites that offer background checks for tenants and if the landlord sends information to one of them to the sites, it’s enough to make it extremely hard for you to find a proper landlord that’s letting his place in a legitimate way, where you can expect them to hold their end of the deal, etc. Oldschool landlord will ultimately ask for a reference from your last landlord and you won’t be able to provide one, which is enough to turn them off and make them turn to the next one.

A bad tenancy record can make it extremely hard and it might put you in a position where you’ll be able to rent properties without the necessary documents and without the required reassurances.

If you decide to just up and leave without the notice we’ve been describing this whole time, you will lose the money in a court claim and make your life in the UK much harder, so it’s safe to say, you won’t be gaining much in the short term if anything and will be losing a lot in the long run.

At the end of the tenancy, regardless of the conditions you are going to part ways in, whether your landlord is happy with the premature termination of your agreement or not, it’s crucial to make sure you leave your property in the best possible condition. If you want to ensure you’ll be getting your deposit back in full, you need to ensure everything is in the same (working) condition you found it when you moved it and that the property receives the best end of tenancy cleaning possible.

You’ll need to ensure the bills are also paid until the moment you have left. Below you can find a full checklist about the things you’ll need to ensure has happened before you move. Here’s a short breakdown of the steps and requirements.

  • Ensure all appliances are in working condition (or the condition you found them in)
  • Ensure the property is cleaned professionally or at least to the required landlord (letting agency) standards. You can find a full checklist here.
  • Make sure all of the bills are paid until the date on which you have vacated the premises.
  • Take photos on your phone, possibly with the newspaper that was issued on the end date of your tenancy.
  • Redirect any mail services, subscriptions, etc. to ensure none of your personal correspondence is received
  • You can ensure your post is redirected by either visiting your local postal office or by applying online here.

Categories: Advice, Tenants Tags: #London, #Cleaning

2 Comment(s)

  • Comment Dummy Image

    Elizabeth Wilkinson

    April 23rd, 2019 at 10:13am

    I really like that you've left a template of the end of tenancy notice letter, but for some reason I couldn't use the generator on my phone. You might want to look into this.

  • Comment Dummy Image

    Eric Jensen

    April 25th, 2019 at 1:52pm

    Hey guys, thanks for the wonderful explanation, I am about to end a periodic tenancy to go into a fix term agreement with a new landlord. Any information on what to avoid or what to look out for with that type of tenancy is highly appreciated! Keep up the good work, and I'll make sure to give you a call for my end of tenancy cleaning. That article alone and the helpful information in it is enough of a reason to use your services

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