How To End / Terminate A Tenancy Agreement

Bye bye

Well, this was bound to happen, wasn’t it? Covering the topic of how to end a tenancy agreement seems like the natural step of progression after blogging about how to renew a tenancy agreement. Granted, both topics equally as unfulfilling to write (and probably to read if it’s not relevant to your current needs) as each other, but undeniably important and inevitable steps of being a landlord.

That said, I’m not just following the natural order of progression, because cutting ties with a tenant was something I recently had to deal with, so there is a hint of unchoreographed coincidence and relevance to this follow-up blog post. Of course, it’s also worth noting the poetic and uncanny timing, since we are approaching the end of the year and this might just be the last blog post of the year. So the general theme is ‘the end’. How fabulously morbid.

Page contents:

Ending tenancy agreements properly

Unfortunately, the termination I recently experienced was particularly squeaky clean and civil, so I don’t have a juicy story to toss your way for you to salivate over. I know that comes as sad news, as many of you would have taken extreme Christmas joy from hearing about how my tenant refused to vacate, and then in a fit of rage, hit me over the head with a saucepan, and then went onto serenading my girlfriend on my car bonnet, all while I lay on the floor gasping for air. Yeah, that didn’t happen. In fact, I was kindly parted with a box of Ferrero Rocher for my terrific service over the years. But I digress.

Ending a tenancy agreement may seem like an easy process. Actually, in general, it is an easy process, but it’s probably not as easy as many landlords believe, and that’s why many terminations aren’t exactly legit. Or to put it more accurately, in many cases, the method(s) used could be successfully disputed in court if it was to be challenged by a tenant. In that situation, the landlord could unwillingly find himself attached to an excruciatingly annoying occupant that has legal rights to stay put, along with a hefty legal bill. Lose/lose situation.

Fortunately, for the sake of the landlord, most tenants are just as comically gormless and clueless about landlord law as they are, so the tenant blindly obliges to the back alley tactics deployed by their landlord. Ignorance is bliss. However, there’s only so many times a landlord can get away with repeating the same level of incompetence before eventually getting caught out by someone that actually has some grasp of the legitimate procedures or has a small dosage of good sense (because that’s all it really takes) to find out.

Most notoriously (and worryingly), many landlords and tenants believe that a tenancy agreement automatically terminates on the date which is stipulated and agreed upon in a tenancy agreement, next to the “end date” field. That’s probably the biggest misconception in regards to ending tenancies. All the “end date” ultimately indicates is “when” a tenancy agreement can be terminated, not actually when it WILL be terminated. Another popular misconception is that landlords believe they can just say “get out” to their tenants on a whim, when the mood strikes, without serving official notice and/or following proper procedures. It’s often amusing and embarrassing when landlords try to shamelessly throw their beer-gut around like that.

Despite popular belief, and as difficult as it may be to appreciate at times, a tenancy should be terminated/ended through the correct legal procedures. While following the path set out by the powers that be may not always the most desirable of methods, especially when you’re dealing with unscrupulous, shit-for-brains tenants that are scamming the system and refusing to leave, it is still better advised to bow down and play by the rules (I know that can be gut-wrenching at times). That’s usually the safer and cheapest option, albeit being a typically slow and painful process. It can often feel like a slow death.

Daringly, I’m not going to frown upon any warm-blooded landlord that takes matters in their own grubby little hands when circumstances are extreme. I say that, not because I condone such notions or because I would personally participate in such schemes, but because I understand that landlord law is total bullshit and a complete failure when it comes to protecting landlords against rent-dodging, careless and unmanageable tenants, and not everyone can be as noble and disciplined like myself.

When you’re dealing with a tenant that just simply doesn’t care, I can genuinely understand the frustrations and very real intentions of plotting to drag them out onto the streets by their teeth. I’ve had those thoughts on several occasions, but I’m too much of a pussy to follow through. But my God, have I had some amazing wet-dreams starring some of my most unsavory past tenants, all of which involved plenty of medieval torturing devices and gushing blood escaping from every orifice in the human anatomy. Quentin Tarantino style. If you choose to actually embark down a dark and ugly road without the support of the law, I won’t support you, but I hope you understand the potential consequences.

Prison

But enough of the sympathising with the unstable and insane, let’s get back to legitimate practices for normal people. Allow me to give you a rundown of the most common and legitimate methods of terminating/ending a tenancy agreement. Each method is different and will only apply to specific scenarios.

1) Section 21 – Serving a possession order

This is the most common method of ending an assured shorthold tenancy, but I also think people, especially novice landlords and tenants, get confused by what a “possession notice” is. It almost sounds complicated and sinister. But it isn’t at all. It’s fluffy and gentle.

A landlord has a legal right to repossess his/her property at the end of an assured shorthold tenancy, which is the end date specified in a tenancy agreement. For this to happen, the landlord is required to give the tenant appropriate notice by serve a Section 21 notice (under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988).

A section 21 is NOT an eviction notice, it’s simply a notice to inform the tenant that the landlord wishes to take their property back (even if the tenant has done nothing wrong). The landlord does not need to provide a reason for repossessing their property. However, the notice does not have the authority to end a tenancy during the fixed term; the landlord and tenant are both legally obligated to see through the tenancy terms.

It is important to note that a tenant legally requires 2 months notice from the landlord if they wish to end the tenancy. So if the end date in the tenancy agreement is 21st March 2015, and the landlord wishes to repossess the property on that date, a notice needs to be received by the tenant before 21st January 2015.

The section 21 can also be served during a periodic tenancy to end the tenancy, but 2 months notice is still required.

2) Tenancy Surrender

I guess this is the opposite view of a section 21 notice, kinda’. Instead of the landlord serving notice, the tenant is choosing to initiate the departure, via a surrender notice (notice to quit). Basically, the tenant is informing the landlord they wish to surrender the tenancy and vacate on said date.

A tenant can surrender their tenancy at the end of the tenancy or during a periodic tenancy, but they must give the landlord 1 months notice (the amount of notice required to be given during a periodic tenancy may differ). If a tenant wishes to vacate on the end date specified in the tenancy agreement, assuming the end date is 21st March 2015, the tenant should ensure the notice is received by the landlord before 21st February 2015.

3) Mutual agreement

This can be actioned at any point during a tenancy, whether it fixed or periodic. It’s when both landlord and tenant agree to end the tenancy. Ultimately, a mutual agreement of termination can be formed 1 day into a tenancy. It happens.

From my experience, this normally happens when a tenant requests to vacate during the fixed term, and the landlord obliges without putting up a fight. I’ve said the following a few times before, but I’ll say it again because I think it’s an important message: if a tenant wants to leave, it’s usually best just to mutually end the tenancy, as opposed to putting up a pointless fight and hopelessly exasperating yourself. The stress of going through that experience probably won’t be worth the outcome, which is usually a sour relationship, but more worryingly, a hostile tenant that feels entrapped in your property. If that isn’t a recipe for a disaster in the form of a tenant using your carpet as toilet paper and a cum-rag, I don’t know what is.

4) Section 8 – Tenant eviction

The crudest method of ending a tenancy agreement, and something we all want to avoid like genital herpes.

If at any point a landlord has grounds to evict a tenant, they can start the eviction process by serving a section 8 eviction notice. The most common reason for eviction is probably rent arrears.

Serving a section 8 should mostly be the last option because going down this path can be long and complicated if the tenant chooses not to vacate on request of the notice. Before serving the notice, it’s worth trying to get your tenant to surrender the tenancy or try to salvage a mutual agreement. Of course, it’s not always as easy as that, some times tenants simply don’t want to play ball. That’s when a sledgehammer is useful.

A section 8 can be served at any point during a tenancy, but in many cases it’s easier and more practical to serve a Section 21 to get rid of a rogue tenant. The reason being is that a Section 8 doesn’t guarantee eviction/possession. A tenant may choose to ignore the notice and remain in the property and then the case may inevitably end up in court for the Judge to decide your fate. Regrettably, the outcome may not be in your favour, and consequently side with the tenant and grant them rights to remain in the property. Essentially, the entire situation could drag on for several months and you may not even get the desired outcome. I’ve never been in this situation, but it happens, and I imagine it’s truly soul-destroying.

However, as mentioned, a landlord has a legal right to repossess their property at the end of the tenancy (the end date specified in the tenancy agreement). So depending on what stage the tenancy is at, particularly if it’s approaching the end date, or in a periodic tenancy, it might be worth going down the section 21 route instead, because the landlord will automatically be granted possessions, no questions asked (assuming the Section 21 was served under the right circumstances).

On a sidenote, it’s worth noting that you can serve both a section 21 and 8 at the same time, and see which one takes effect the quickest. They’re totally independent notices, served for very distinct reasons (although, with the intent of having the same outcome).

5) Break clauses

Some tenancy agreements have ‘break clauses’, which is where landlord and tenant have the opportunity to end the tenancy agreement early. I personally don’t understand the point of break clauses because if you’re going to have one of those, you may as well just have a 6 month tenancy agreement (that’s the minimum length an assured shorthold tenancy can be). In any case, the terms and conditions of the break clause often depends on the clauses stipulated in the tenancy agreement.

Typically, the tenant or the landlord can serve notice (usually 2 months notice is required) during the fixed-term of the tenancy to end the tenancy early. The most common example where a break clause is used, is with in a 12 month contract, which allows for the opportunity to end the tenancy after 6 months. Essentially, either party can “break” the tenancy before the end date, as long as the correct procedures are followed.

Again, a landlord should serve a section 21 notice and the tenant should send a surrender notice (depending on who wants to take advantage of the break clause). More details available in the tenancy break clause blog post.

Few final points/tips…

  • Serving notices alone won’t end/terminate a tenancy, they’re only requesting for the tenancy to end. A tenancy has only ended when a tenant has officially vacated and returned the keys. In the case of stubborn tenants, a court order maybe required to get a possession order.

    Despite which method you use to terminate a tenancy, you may find yourself in a nerve racking situation where your lousy tenant refuses to vacate. Unfortunately, none of the methods above can force the tenant to physically leave.

  • Record keeping: every action you take relating to ending a tenancy should be documented and a record should be kept. For example, if both landlord and tenant agree to mutually terminate the tenancy agreement, get something down on paper, dated and signed.
  • Trackable delivery method: all correspondence should be trackable and leave behind a footprint, so either send everything via email or recorded delivery.
  • Complications can occur: in most cases, ending tenancies is a relatively straight forward and a painless experience; landlords and tenants are most agreeable. I may have made the situation sound worse than it is for the average situation. However, I do want to emphasise how unimaginably shit and scary the situation can be if a party in the chain isn’t prepared to play ball. It can be truly terrifying. If you’re in this situation, I’ve covered a lot of what I think you should know in my My Tenant’s Rent Is Late blog post.
  • Be fair and reasonable: if you’re a landlord giving your tenant notice, try to be as accommodating and reasonable as possible, especially if you’re trying to end a tenancy agreement with tenants that have always been good to you and don’t necessarily want to vacate. If they need an extra month in the property, perhaps it’s something you should allow for. Communication and compromising is always the best way of dealing with these issues.
  • Timing is important: if you’re a landlord and you’re trying to terminate a tenancy, I would advise against informing your tenants too early, because they may find new accommodation sooner than you’re willing to let them escape. If them vacating early will cause you financial or logistical problems, I would carefully strategically calculate when the best time would be to inform them.
  • End of tenancy cleaning: this can be a messy issue (pun-intended. I know, I’m disgustingly shameless!). The sad fact is, if I received a hand-job for every time there was a tenant/landlord dispute over the [poor] condition of the property during check-out I’d be a very happy man… probably quite chapped, too. Ouch.

    The general rule is, tenants should leave the property in the same condition as they received it in, minus wear and tear, of course. Sounds simple enough, and it really, really, really should be. But no, it really, really, really isn’t in many cases. For more details on the horrific complexities of ‘cleaning’ (some people seem to really struggle with it), you may want to jump over to The Tenant’s Voice website, where they’ve thoroughly covered the issue of end of tenancy cleaning (an issue far too dry and mind-numbingly boring for me to have any desire in covering).

I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got for you this time, but hopefully I’ve shed some light on an important matter to some of you, and perhaps even encouraged some landlords to reconsider their ill practices. As always, if anyone has any tips, nightmares or advice to share, you know what to do- shut the F up and royally do-one. Only joking. Use the comment box below and we’ll have a little natter.

As said in the earlier part of this post, this will probably be my last post of the year; I’m starting to get into the festive spirit, so I’ll mostly be senselessly drowning myself in a pool of tequila and boobs. I’ll still continue to spread my Christmas love on Twitter, but for those assholes that aren’t following me on there, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Without trying to sound overly sickening and fake, I genuinely have been grateful for the continuous contribution from you all! I know every comment not only helps me, but also hundreds and thousands of readers! xoxo

36 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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HelenM 19th December, 2014 @ 08:10

Well I recently encountered a problem with my tenants. They have broken the Tenancy Agreement by not informing me that there is a problem in the property. How I found out you may wonder! I returned home from work to find correspondents from the council telling me that under such and such a regulation they wish to inspect the property. So, I had to take time off work to make the 3.30pm appointment. Present were one of the tenants and the council man and me. Having taken pictures in first bedroom of the mould he proceeded to the second bedroom where he continued to take pictures of yet more mould. I was horrified. Well more than that I was gutted! To think that those b*stards have made the property like that, having gone behind my back to council and not cleaned and ventilated the property. Again, breaking another part of the Tenancy Agreement. I also received a nasty text threatening me with solicitors and compensation for ill health and damage to their property (clothing etc). The council man entered the lounge, taking more notes. The tenant admitted switching off the radiators in the bedrooms and said they were out working all the time and cannot leave the windows open. P*ss poor excuse - as I work full time and I ventilate and have heating on when necessary. We to cut this short the council man said that they must clean the mould with xxxx solution, ventilate, and switch the radiators back on and may also wish to hire a de-humidifier. By this, I took this as an act of gross negligence by the tenants. And would dearly love them to vacate as soon as they can. Some tenants just think landlords are loaded and deserve to have compensation! But to tell you the truth if the tenant had contacted me about the mould, I would have said the same as the council man, but the tenants, I doubt, would have believed me!

I am now taking into account your Termination of Tenancy and other related posts on your website. The tenants have 12 month contract and have been there 4 months in December 2014.

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clive 19th December, 2014 @ 08:54

hi, in the article the piece about giving 2 months notice within a periodical tenancy is a little vague, does anyone know the law I need this? I always thought it would have to be 2 complete rental cycles ( i.e if the rent is paid on the 1st and a section 21 was served on the 2nd (of February for example) the actual termination date would be 1st May. February doesn't cout as the rent has already been paid for that month so it will apply for march and April only...does this sound right?

on a slightly different matter...does anyone have experience of living above a tesco express store? Our rented property is above a furnishing store but tesco is moving in in the new year....
Thanks

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 19th December, 2014 @ 09:00

@HelemM

Oh man! Awful situation. The tenants have some balls creating the problem and then reporting it like it was your fault. BALLSY!

I had a similar problem with tenants and mould (although, I often struggled to identify the difference between the two- both tenant and the infestation seemed bad for my health).

My tenants vacated with the master bedroom and bathroom covered in mould, and they simply tried painting over the infestations to hide/cure the problem. And then when I called them up on it, the tenant threatened to take action against me because his family had taken ill because of the mould. Not to mention, the tenant was also in arrears, and NOT once did he report the mould issue with me (although, he claims he sent me text messages. Yeah, right). I couldn't believe the guy had the nerve to threaten me.

Yeah, so I know exactly what you're going through. The only difference is that the council never got involved- that must been so infuriating.

At least the council acknowledged it's the tenants responsibility/fault. But unfortunately, I don't think there's enough there to evict the tenant or end the tenancy early, unless they are prepared to surrender (as said, the law is awful in these situations)! I know it's a long wait, but I would serve notice during the 9th month into the tenancy.

Just make sure you stay on top of the tenants and ensure they are doing the right things to actively kill the mould. Mould can be crazy expensive to fix, especially if it gets through the walls/ceiling (which it can easily do). Even after what happened, I personally wouldn't trust them to do the right things going forward. If they allowed the problem to get that bad, they can pretty much be rendered stupid/hopeless.

Your experience is also a reminder of my inventories are crucial, especially 'before pictures'

Anyways, good luck and thanks for sharing!

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Jay 19th December, 2014 @ 09:08

Hi great article. However it can be costly using a estate agent to draw these documents up (section 21 or section 8). Can you suggest any useful websites that allow you to do this in a templated fashion? Thank you

Ajay

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Malcolm P 19th December, 2014 @ 09:17

'All correspondence should be trackable and leave behind a footprint, so either send everything via email or recorded delivery'

I agree entirely however sending via recorded delivery is not a guarantee of actual delivery, especially if the tenant refuses to sign for the delivery. My practise would be to send first class from two different post offices and get a proof of posting receipt - that way it would be extremely difficult to argue that you had never received the post especially if it was sent from different post offices.

Regards
Malcolm P

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 19th December, 2014 @ 09:30

@Clive
Landlords still need to provide 2 months' notice from the date rent is due e.g. if you're giving notice half way through a "period", you may need to give just under 3 months notice so two full periods notice is given.

It differs for tenants, they only need to provide one "period" notice e.g. if rent is paid monthly, one full month notice is required (which could end up being just under 2 months' notice, depending on when the notice is served).

@Jay
Yeah, letting agents take advantage by charging ridiculous amounts for serving what is effectively very simple documents. You can find free examples online, but there are also some available on this website in the landlord forms section.

@Malcom
Nice tip, and I agree, that seems more airtight! Many thanks!

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Chris 27th December, 2014 @ 17:06

My tenants of just under 2 years have recently asked ME to evict them.

For the first 10 months of their tenancy, all was perfect and rent was paid on time, but just before Christmas 2013, they went on a family holiday to Florida - Mum, Dad and the 4 kids and somehow forgot to pay the rent that month. They managed to pay 3 weeks later but it seems they've never recovered from that massive expenditure as their rent has been late ever since.

In May 2014, I issued a S21 but didn't ask them to leave as they explained he had lost his job and they were going to claim benefits which would be delayed.
Despite claiming benefits, the rent continues to be paid late and in dribs and drabs.

They wanted me to write a letter saying I was evicting them so they could go for a council house. I said I'd do it provided I didn't have to incur any expense (court proceedings etc) and they agreed to do viewings for me.

Sadly, the house that was newly renovated 20 months ago now looks a little tired. The laminate downstairs needs replacing and a few of rooms could do with a lick of paint.

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HelenM 28th December, 2014 @ 11:04

I am now awaiting on the formal report from the council official.

And I note your comments.

You said that mould could be "crazy expensive to fix". How will I know if the tenants have left it (the mould), that bad to have entered the plaster? Is there some sort of test that can be done?

My friend has a damp metre reader, would the use of this be beneficial? Its not an expensive one!

They left it that bad because they thought they could get compensation for damage to clothing etc, and more importantly to their ill health. Like, do I give a flying f*rt about their health! They caused it.

In front of the council official he admitted reading up on mould on the internet and the causes of ill health and the spores!

But obviously I will have to have it dealt with if it has gone deeper. I wonder if they have the money to put it right!

I agree with you - simply painting over the problem is not the satisfactory solution. If the problem has gone deeper.

Maybe the council official will have advice on the subject (in his report), and have information about testing the plaster. If it is not in the report I will be emailing him to get his advice.

And I do know its a long wait to get rid of them (give notice), but I will do eventually! A*s holes like that - no landlord needs!

Trust has gone out of the door, the day I received the Inspection Notice. And yes, I am still livid!

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Steve 22nd January, 2015 @ 14:07

I always get my tenants to sign a Section 21 Notice at the same time they sign the Tenancy Agreement. This is perfectly legal and means that at the end of the term of the tenancy they must vacate. Saves worrying about when to serve it.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd January, 2015 @ 15:24

@Steve

Assuming the deposit is secured and the prescribed information is served before the contracts are signed :)

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HelenM 27th January, 2015 @ 13:33

Dear Landlord

Do tenants sign the HOUSING ACT 1988, Section 21 (1)(b)
as amended by the HOUSING ACT 1996

The copy I have just has space for me to sign and date.

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Chris 28th January, 2015 @ 08:50

@ Helen

The answer is no, tenants don't have to sign the s.21 but it does help to get proof that it was issued i.e. a witness.

When I issue one at start of the tenancy (after securing the deposit), I now get tenants to sign a s.21 acknowledgment form in duplicate.

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White L 27th May, 2015 @ 17:47

We have man sneakily living permanently with our tenant without our permission. He would not sign the tenancy agreement making him jointly and severally liable,falsely claiming he has his own principle address. The tenant draws H.B.but doesn't pay the substantial shortfall. We know the man is a plasterer working on the quiet.We have served a periodic sect 21 but we now realize these people are real professionals who will hang on 'til the bailiff comes, (in about six months time if we're lucky). Can we get him for trespass?

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Adam 7th July, 2015 @ 09:44

I'm curious as to the mould problem, did your tenants definitely create the mould, could they have prevented it? I doubt it in both cases, maybe they could have reported it to you quicker, but mould is a fast and nasty thing to deal with, and you seriously expected them to leave windows open while they are out? i guess if burglars came in and trashed the place that would be the tenant's fault too, huh.
Maybe a professional should of been called in, not just some geezer from the council who sits behind a desk most of the day.The problem people face when we are private renting is a lot are in receipt of benefits and simply turn rads off because they cannot afford to have them on, and i'm guessing the mould crept up on them and then rather than tell you, they hid their heads in the sand, maybe you should of done more regular inspections of your own property, then maybe you would of caught it earlier yourself.

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Jack 13th July, 2015 @ 15:40

If you’re a landlord and you’re trying to terminate a tenancy, I would advise against informing your tenants too early, because they may find new accommodation sooner than you’re willing to let them escape. If them vacating early will cause you financial or logistical problems, I would carefully strategically calculate when the best time would be to inform them.

nice to see landlords living upto their reputations as scumbags

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Meena Patel 15th August, 2015 @ 22:49

The above comments have been very useful however it appears that it's harder for landlord's, even good one's.My tenant has not paid me 16 weeks rent. She has finally agreed to resolve this by signing an agreement, a notice to leave if she doesn't keep to the agreed solution.
A dule agreement wich covers n0a notice to terminate the tenancy.

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Jess 13th October, 2015 @ 12:02

Hello - could you offer some advice. My tenant is constantly late with and never pays her rent in full. Unfortunately I didn't put her deposit in a government scheme and she used it up in her first rent arrears. I have put the flat on the market to sell, but after serving her a section 21 and a section 8 she is still refusing to leave.
What is my next step?
Thanks

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th October, 2015 @ 12:13

@Jess
Do you actually have grounds for eviction (i.e. was the Section 8 valid)? In any case, if I were you, I would use a professional eviction service (list of services available here)- they'll evict your tenant (assuming you have grounds for eviction) quickly and efficiently! Saves you from scrambling around. You do put yourself in a bad position by not having protected the deposit though.

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Jess 13th October, 2015 @ 12:18

Thank you. Yes I think the section 8 was valid as she is always in rent arrears. However, I think she wants to be rehoused by the Council which they won't do unless shes made homeless, so court eviction might be my only option. I wasn't sure if legally I can accept an offer on the flat if the tenant is refusing to leave?
thanks

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david 12th January, 2016 @ 23:55

i have a signed short assured tenancy agreement, move in date agreed, deposit paid, notice on old property given, 3 weeks to go and letting agent says landlord has withdrawn property and has returned deposit, now nowhere to live, can the landlord do this as a signed tenancy agreement is surely a legally binding contract, if other way round, landlord can claim compensation so is the same for the prospective tenant who has had the rug pulled out from under him at a late date.

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Les Groocock 13th February, 2016 @ 16:32

Had a tenant on AST and that has now become periodic tenancy, nearly 3 months in arrears, tried to be nice and gave her 3 months written notice also issued section 21 notice (the one for periodic tenancies) but wont budge, my son dealt with tenant originally and he was a friend (partner of the tenant) but he has since moved out leaving us with the tenant from hell, but what my son failed to do was lodge the bond deposit, which I have now done. I have a section 8 notice to serve but have noted it says this cannot be served once the tenancy has become periodic but should be done in writing, my question is if I do this in writing is this the same as section 8 ie do I state grounds upon which I am issuing the note (arrears etc) and is it the same length of time (ground 8 rent arrears) is 2 weeks but progressing to court order? It is all quite complex mainly because of the bond issue which the tenant is aware of or should just go to court on the back of the section 21 notice already issued? would appreciate any help on this point.

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john walsh 5th April, 2016 @ 20:54

i have had a tenancy for 12 months, i have given one months notice on the property, i have been told that i need to give 2 months notice, because it is in the signed contract under the mutual break clause. is this legaly binding because i understood a tenant only needs to give one months notice.

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graeme g 23rd May, 2016 @ 18:00

Having been a tenant a couple of times, work accommodation has been a god send, I am not unsympathetic to landlords. But the immoral use of tenants to not only use them to pay YOUR mortgages but to then hike up the rent to 4 times or more local housing association prices, refuse people who would then need help of local benefits, all so you can make a substantial profit is dis disgraceful. I understand that landlords are business men\women, but when your mortgage is being paid for by your tenants, profit on top of that is just being greedy. Why else would you charge 3 times minimum wage per month for property. About time something was done to control this ridiculously out of control area.

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Katie S 13th July, 2016 @ 07:48

Urgent advice needed, Please! - I have a tenant in my flat. I am separating from my partner (i live in his house)and have been told to leave.
I have spoken to my agent who has not been very helpful at all. They have said I cannot ask her to leave until the end of her tenancy.However, if she did agree to leave before the end of her tenancy I would have to pay her compensation. Is this correct?
I have tried to find information for various sources but there is very little for Landlords :( It appears I need to use a Section 8 notice, as I need to live in my flat. It does not mention about compensation or how much notice i am required to give the tenant.

can anyone advise please?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th July, 2016 @ 09:21

@Katie
There's a lot of information out there for landlords. All the information you need is actually in this blog post- did you read it? :)

Hmm if your tenant agrees to leave you don't "have" to pay compensation. However, if your tenant says she won't terminate the tenancy early without compensation, that's another story...

You probably won't be able to serve a Section 8 notice. Essentially, if your tenant doesn't want to leave before the termination date, you can't do anything about it immediately. You may want to serve a Section 21 though, so she leaves on the end date of the tenancy (if you still want possession of the property at that time).

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Katie S 13th July, 2016 @ 12:22

@The Landlord i did read the page but my situation is quite unique and is not covered here as far as I can see. I need this to now be my residence. A section 21 does not cover this. I have ample grounds for a Section 8 from what I am reading in Schedule 2. It says in the Grounds that if it is to be your residence the court has to order it.

It looking like I need to get some specialist advice..

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th July, 2016 @ 13:42

@Katie
It's not a particularly unique case, to be honest. But you do need to piece together a few legislations to assess your options.

What you're referring to is Ground 1 of Section 8. That ground requires a 2 month notice period.

But from my understanding, you can't rely on that ground during the fixed-term, only periodic (Housing Act 1988 s7(6)(a)), that's why I said you won't be able to rely on it immediately. Plus, the tenant could dispute it, and then it will be down to the Court's discretion. Therefore, a section 21 might be more efficient, as I suggested.

In any case, it's highly unlikely that you have the right to immediate possession (in fact, I'm sure of it, but let's just say it's my opinion), unfortunately. Essentially, you can't just kick someone out of their home...

Your best option is to talk to the tenant.

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alison 21st July, 2016 @ 20:54

my tenant and myself agreed to mutually terminate the tenancy after she refused to go i contacted shelter, who looked at the case with their lawyers and basically confirmed she is now trespassing also she has now said all correspondences must got through her mother my question is do i have to send everything through her mother and is it trespass as shelter say or is it squatting/adverse possession

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Rikki 22nd July, 2016 @ 12:51

We're a tenant who are currently in an Assured Short hold Tenancy which ends on 14/08/2016. I've let the landlord know that we will be looking to move out on the 14th Aug and he is okay with it. I called the estate agents to confirm that as the rental agreement is ending on 14th I do not have to give 2 months notice. To my surprise they said I still have to give two months notice! Is it true? Even if our landlord is happy and doesn't mind us leaving on the 14th can the estate agents enforce this on us? Since we're completing a purchase on a property next week we are hoping to make every last penny count and this means not paying rent on a place that is not required. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Simon Pambin 22nd July, 2016 @ 14:21

Your contract is with the landlord, not the agents, so it's none of their business for a start.

That aside, if the contract expires on the 14th August, and you move out by the 14th August, then there is no contract under which you could be liable for subsequent periods.

For what it's worth, if you did remain in the property without signing a new contract, that would be a Statutory Periodic Tenancy, which you could end with one month's notice, or the landlord could end with two.

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jon 10th October, 2016 @ 10:57

I am renting my apartment to a tenant currently and she has paid for 2 months straight away, for the first and for the last i.e. she didn't pay for october on the date she was meant to so therefore i count the deposit she gave as her last month in. she has only lived one month in already theres problems, on the phone she is very rude and keep on trying to buy thing into the house as part of the rent money. i have told her that she cannot buy anything into my house without my consent but she did and is now trying to get money from me or deduct it from her rent. i want to get her out of the house immediately. i am only renting her 2 rooms in my apartment am i able to move into the room that is not being rented and force her out? i.e. live with her.
im so frustrated i never knew renting my property would be so frustrating

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Nigel Webb 20th October, 2016 @ 18:48

I have just let a flat to 2 sharers, at the beginning they said they were a couple! One of tem said she was sharing custody of her dog with her last partner and the dog would not be kept there full time and never left alone. The dog is in the property permanently and left alone and damaging the property, she is also smoking in the property in breach of the tenancy agreement. The other renter is really pissed off about this as are we, she has said she cannot live with the other tenant because of this, (we are only 2 weeks into the tenancy), if she alone wanted to end the tenancy, can she and what would happen about the other one? Do they doth had to agree to end mutually?

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Daisies 7th November, 2016 @ 15:08

Hi, I had some conflicts with my tenants. Below is the situation :

- My tenants have been renting my place for more than a year now.
- Every end of 6 months tenancy, new agreements are put in place, normally via email.
- My tenants gave me a notice to move sometime in July, only to inform me later (also in July) on that their new landlord is not able to let them move into the place they are interested in yet.
- I provided them with a few options to assist their situation, and 2 of them were to move out in 31st October, or renew the tenancy agreement to 6 more months, starting from 1st October.

- They chose the 6 months renewal of the tenancy agreement, only to provide me with a Notice to End Tenancy a week or 2 after October. I was informed that they are not aware that they have to comply to the 6 months, and at the same time, the flat that they were interested in in July has become available (if I am not mistaken).
- There were some conflicts with the situation and I then come to a point where I just want to move on.
- My tenants' preferred option is for them to stop paying rent for November and part of December (they are moving out first week December), and I can claim the deposit they have paid in full (2 months rent). I agreed to this as I just wanted to move on.
- All communications are confirmed via email.
- Please could you advice :
a) What should I do from now onwards ?
b) Is it ok to just rely on the emails communications we have between us as conformation of work ?
c) If I need to send them a formal letter on the regards, what type of letter should I use ?
d) When can I start using the deposit they have paid ?
e) The deposit is registered, how do I go about ending this and claiming the deposit as we have agreed ?

Looking forward to kind advices. I am a new landlord and am not sure what to do now .. I do wish I do not have to contact the tenants again as I felt hurt in the process of the communications (I know I shouldn't put feelings into this, but things just happen ..), but I would like to do the right thing so that all will go smoothly

Thank you in advance for all the advices on the above regards.

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@Harris 10th November, 2016 @ 21:33

*Please help*

i am a relatively new landlord and my last tenants were great. hassle free. this couple i now have in have breached their contract within 2 months. they have purchased a dog when it was a no pet policy.

she informed me of the dog via text message but on further probing (via social media) i was able to find out she has had this for nearly a month now and but has only just told me about it.

i informed her she needs to get rid of the dog or terminate the contract. she is unwilling to do either.

i have spoken to her this evening informing her i will be meet her tomorrow to give section 8 paperwork for us both to sign. i told her she needs to move out even though her tenancy was for a further 4 months (6 month in total)

what I'm confused about is :
1. how long i can give her to move out. am i right in saying its 14 days from the signing of section 8?
2. and stupidly: i used a property agent to 'find a tenant'. on the initial paperwork it states no pets but on the tenancy agreement she signed it doesn't!!! she knows she's breached it and im hoping they are not too switched on to see its not in the agreement. do i even have a leg to stand on??

i need some advice please. i spoke to citizen advice today but they were no help ;-(

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Simon Pambin 11th November, 2016 @ 13:49

Getting shot of a tenant just because she's got a dog is ridiculously disproportionate. Breach of the tenancy agreement (Ground 12) is one of the discretionary grounds of a Section 8 notice so, if your tenants contest it, you'll have to convince a judge that breach of this term of the tenancy agreement is so egregious that it warrants throwing your tenants out on to the street. This would be tricky at the best of times. If you try it in this case, where this supposedly vital deal-breaker of a term isn't even in the tenancy agreement that you signed, you will be laughed a very long way out of court.

If, on the other hand, you manage to railroad your tenants into leaving without recourse to law, then you'll still have the cost of finding a new tenant, plus a potential void period, and you'll run the risk of ending up with another tenant that doesn't suit you anyway.

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Diane Bull 13th March, 2017 @ 17:09

Hi
Lovely people on here. Please help.

I have a tenant in a 6 month tenancy that comes to an end on the 24th March 2017. A week ago he sent via messenger a request to renew. I gave tenant choice to renew for another 6 months or periodic. He requested a periodic. All agreed on same terms etc.
Today, I receive notice (via messenger) that he now wants to move out on the 25th March as he has found somewhere else to live.
I have advised him that I require one month's notice so therefore he is liable for the rent until 24th April 2017.
If he had not requested and agreed to renew. I would not hold him to it.
But I do not think 10 days notice is fair. I am also out of the country on that date.
Am I being unreasonable????

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