‘Surrender Of Tenancy Letter’ For Tenants

Unfortunately, on Friday, I received a surrender of tenancy from the best tenants’ I’ve ever been privileged enough to have. It was a fatal blow. The prospect of trying to fill their shoes seems like a difficult task, which I’m not looking forward to tackle.

Over the 2 years they’ve been my tenants I didn’t encounter a single problem, and that’s quite rare from my experience. I seriously don’t want to see them go, but it’s out of my hands. Their family is growing and they need more space. I did suggest for them to store their youngest child in the garden shed to create extra living space in the house, but they weren’t playing ball.

When they surrendered their tenancy, they handed over the most professional and clear notice I have ever received. I’m usually sent an incoherent text message or handed over a crumpled piece of paper, with childlike hand-writing on it.

This is what my tenant gave me:

Surrender Of Tenancy Letter

I was impressed, so much so that I thought i’d post it up here, so other tenants can use it if they wish (there’s a downloadable version below).

I didn’t ask my tenant where he got it from, but I assumed it was a template he had found online. Of course, a surrender of tenancy letter doesn’t need to be so elaborate; all can be said in one sentence- that’s what my previous tenants gave me. However, I like this elaborate version because it’s concise and transparent, so it avoids potential misinterpretations.

I actually tried Googling for other Surrender Of Tenancy Letter templates to see how it compared, but I couldn’t find any. Mind you, I did only look for 5 mins, and I got majorly bored after that. Or perhaps I failed because the market for a template regarding something so mundane and pointless does not exist. Perhaps. Actually, most likely.

What is a Surrender of Tenancy letter?

It’s a mutual agreement between landlord and tenant to end a tenancy. This is called ‘surrender’. To be valid, both sides must agree, and it’s always best to put what’s been agreed in writing so everyone knows where they stand. If the tenancy is joint, all joint tenants and the landlord must agree to the surrender.

Does anyone know of any templates available online? Also, has any landlord received a surrender of tenancy like that before, if not better?

Important: If you decide to use it, make sure you print two copies – landlord and tenant should each keep a copy.

Download

Here’s a copy of the Surrender Of Tenancy Letter. Feel free to use it.
Download Surrender Of Tenancy Letter

20 Comments- join the conversation...

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kevin 24th August, 2010 @ 12:44

Yes I have had tenants off over 6 years sadly on a few occasions have to move on.........just like yours great tenants, never asked for a thing, in all that time. Always paid rent on time. Never any problems

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danny 29th August, 2010 @ 19:42

Mine just gave notice tonight ! bloody bank holiday weekend, wanted to give a month notice from tonight till 29th next month. Their rent isn't due until 12th September so had a short exchange with them about the one month notice period. I insisted they pay full month. hopefully its sorted but means I got to go through the whole veiwings thing again.

It might be a blessing though because they were getting problamatic, wouldnt alloww the painter access the other day and plumbed a washing machine in the bathroom ! until we insisted they removed it.
bleeding tenants !!!

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graham 30th August, 2010 @ 15:45

I received notice and tenants have just moved out after 4.5 years. The property was furnished,all new when they moved in; they have done lots and lots of damage, they tried to repaint walls ( i was not made adware of repaint) to hide damage mut made a bad job with cutting-in and did not prep / repair wall damage. damage is well beyond fair ware and tear.. i have had to replace carpets, fridge etc., etc.,

Can anyone suggest how I calculate the damage, is this a percentage of the original price or replacement price? I have used an inventory agency, but they just record damage and cannot help with I charge them.

I have a deposit if £1100 but doubt this will cover it>

Sincerely,

Graham

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John Roberts 5th September, 2010 @ 08:05

It's hard not to take it personally when tenants leave a mess behind. It can cost time, money and emotional wear and tear to chase them through the courts (if you can find which part of the undergrowth they've slid off to).

My landlord friends and I were sick and tired of feeling there was nothing we could do. So we decided to do something about it.

We have developed a website which offers a free landlord-to-landlord warning service. Just bash in as many details as you have about your rogue tenant into our encrypted ("hashed") database and you are notified automatically when another user searches for the same tenant.

You are put in touch with each other and can have a confidential chat about your mutual "friend". This could save another landlord from being taken in by your runaway rent-defaulter. And another landlord could do you the same favour. Bad tenant loses out. Result!

Check it out at http:/www.letshare.info and let us know what you think.

JR

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Graham 5th September, 2010 @ 16:16

Thanks John.

I would still rent to these tenants; as they paid rent for 4.5 years and I hold a large deposit that should cover my costs, however they expect a full refund as they beleive the damage is fair wear and tear.

I plan to calculate my full costs and send them details. Obviously they will expect to negoitate this down.

My concern is, example

I had to replace one sofa that was good quality that cost £600; they broke the frame between the legs and the covers were badly stained thay could not be cleaned or repaired; so how do I calculate fair wear and tear when the sofa was 4.5 years old.

The second identical sofa was not damaged but required new covers.

I'd appreciate help; can someone suggest fair wear an tear in this instance?

Sincerely,

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John Roberts 5th September, 2010 @ 19:23

Hi Graham.

Four and a half years is quite a long time. How much would you expect to pay for a second-hand sofa in good condition that has been used for that long? £100? £200 tops? If it is now unsaleable I would call it £200 and charge them that. Add on the covers for the other one (£100?) and there's your answer.

Personally, I never let furnished. It avoids just this kind of hassle. My thinking is that is a tenant has reached a certain age and hasn't got any furniture or enough personal items to fill a property, then something's wrong with them. And furnished places don't seem to fetch very much more rent than unfurnished.

I know that's probably not a very scientific way of looking at the tenant demographic, but it works for me.

Of course, you may live in a part of the country where furnished property is the norm. It isn't in the area where I live and rent my places.

Good luck!

JR

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Jools 6th September, 2010 @ 14:03

Hi Guys,

Graham - the issue you will have is of "betterment"! You are only allowed to charge for refurbishment/repairs to bring the items back to the condition they were in when the property was let. For example, if the furniture was second hand then you would not be allowed to charge them for a new item as it would be "better" than originally supplied. In the same vein, if it went to court then the magustrate would ask you how you knew the covers could not be cleaned or repaired since you were not a professional upholstery cleaner!

You would have to provide written evidence - you cannot just assume that the sofa can't be repaired or cleaned - the same with the new covers - you would have to provide documentary evidence to prove they could not be cleaned. If the sofa was 4.5 years old then I am afraid you would have a real issue charging more than just a nominal amount especially if you do not have an independant inventory along with photographs to prove condition. Frames dont seem to be built to last these days!

I would suggest the same as John, even a little less perhaps to avoid issues with the beak!

Jools

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little bee 18th October, 2010 @ 05:33

thanks a lot!! this is very helpful ^^

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Sarah 17th October, 2011 @ 11:51

I am a tenant and I am wanting to surrender my tenancy early after being threatened in my neighbourhood. The house I am renting is lovely and the landlord is a nice lady however I am worried about the safety of myself and my daughter who is only 6. I don't feel safe to walk her to school or the shops which is really difficult as I don't drive. I don't fear for assault by the teenagers who threatened me but I worry about verbal abuse I may get when with my child. My landlord is aware of this situation and I am hoping he will, out of good will let me surrender my tenancy 2 months early so I can move in with my Father until I can secure enough money to go through the whole letting process again.
Any landlords out there had a similar experience with tenants or can anyone offer advice on how I can negotiate with my landlord a leaving early agreement.
Thank you in advance.

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Jayne 8th April, 2012 @ 10:31

My tenant is 6mths into a 12mth Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement but rang me today to advise they wish to move out next month. Rent is due on 20th of each month. They have been good tenants & did want to buy the property at the end of the 12mth period or even before hence I agreed to a 12mth contract to enable them time to raise a deposit for a mortgage. They have now changed their mind which is disappointing but they are young & I wish them well. I want to help if I can but not sure in which way. The agreement states 3mths notice must be given but I am happy for them to leave earlier (next month)if they pay 3mths rent of the 6 remaining & sign a surrender letter. A bond is also returnable which is held by a bond agency. Any thoughts welcome

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Mark Thouless 8th October, 2012 @ 17:06

Hello

I'm a tenant and would like some advice. We have rented a property for 4 years, we want to surrender around 7 months early due to a house purchase. We are giving the landlord 4 months notice, we have always had really positive feedback from the letting agency following inspections.

In this position would you be prepared to surrender the tenancy? I really can't afford to in the position of have to pay the rest of the tenancy and the mortgage on the new house.

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Cardifflandlord 9th October, 2012 @ 08:43

Mark,

It all depends on whether the LL can get another tenant into his property in a timely manner. If he can, great (don't forget you will be responsible for all REASONABLE costs incurred in re-letting the property. 7 Months is a long time even with a 4 month notice so don't be surprised if the landlord says no. You could say - "if you are prepared to let us go early then we will compensate you financially by £ xxxxx"

Problem is, it's not the landlords fault you found a home to buy after you signed your tenancy agreement. Did you sign for another year on a rolling basis or are you in a periodic tenancy term?

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Leah 30th December, 2012 @ 12:02

Hello,

I'm a tenant and I've lived in my current property for just over a month. I signed a shorthold for six months with no break clause. Ever since then I have found my landlord to be aggressive, hotheaded and I've grounds to believe he has been snooping in the property whilst I am not there. He makes me feel frightened and I've been unable to speak to him about any problems for fear of risking him 'kicking off'. The place is also getting too expensive for me to live in, and I'm worried he won't see reason if I try handing over a Surrender Notice. Does anyone have any advice as to what to do if he won't cooperate with the Surrender?

Many thanks for posting the notice. It is a godsend. I will let you know what happens when I give it to him. Thanks again.

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David 10th December, 2013 @ 14:54

John Roberts,

Just to let yuou know that the website you have created is illegal. You are not allowed to disclose this information.

David

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Natasha 1st February, 2014 @ 16:18

Hi there guys,
Not sure whether you will be able to help at all as this is a bit of a strange one.
My partner and I entered into a tenancy agreement for a property on the basis that we used it for business purposes(Public house, Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast accommodation), however as their was no actual business, we have a normal tenancy agreement as apposed to a business or commercial tenancy agreement.

We have been living in the property and running it as a business well as much as we can do given that our landlord has failed to provide us with a Gas Safe certificate (so we cant operate the Restaurant) and has a non functioning and out of date fire alarm system (so we can't operate the bed and breakfast accommodation)

We have a 24 month fixed term with a break clause at 12 months (as long as we provide 3 months notice) however due to the misrepresentation of my landlords in regard to the certification of the building, is there anyway I can leave prior to that 12 month break?

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Benji 1st February, 2014 @ 19:00

@Natasha,

You need to speak to a solicitor on this to get a proper answer but this is my view for what its worth.

Assuming you are in England/Wales.

If the property was let to you as a dwelling, converted from a pub, soley for residential use, then your assured tenancy agreement is probably valid and you have to stick to the terms of your agreement.

If a significant part of the premises was let for business purposes (i.e you are running a typical pub) then it cannot be an assured tenancy and I don't think your agreement is valid.

But you need to speak to a solicitor.

On a more practical note, a gas safety check would cost you about fifty quid so it doesn't make sense losing income if that is the only problem.

I've just had a new, hard wired fire alarm installed on a pub sized property for £600. Repairing and certifying your existing system will probably be cheaper. Again, it doesn't make sense losing income if that is the only problem.

You must have believed you could make it work at one point, if it is just 500 quid holding you back then pay for the work yourself- and try to get it back off your landlord later. Good luck.

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Natasha 1st February, 2014 @ 21:07

@Benji

Cheers for your advice (seeking legal advice next week) we have had quotes for all the work required to get the building usable and £600 for a fire alarm system that is amazing I am being quoted around £2500, and as for the gas safe the work required to get it up to scratch would also be around £2000 so I'm told (needs a new extractor fan and venting system) although I am getting a 2nd opinion on this next week also

Cheers again :)

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Benji 2nd February, 2014 @ 10:24

@Natasha,

I thought there was more to it than that. Sorry for your predicament.

Re the fire alarm system we had this one fitted for £600 + VAT. It is for simple residential use only so maybe not suitable for your requirement;

http://www.discountfiresupplies.co.uk/product/160/845/Fike-Twinflex-Pro-8-Zone-Fire-Alarm-Kit?utm_source=Google%2BProducts&utm_medium=Price%2BComparison&utm_campaign=Google%2BProducts&gclid=CKbJruiarbwCFaQfwwod3kQArg

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Michelle 3rd February, 2014 @ 19:25

Hi,

I wondered if you might be able to give me some advice. I am a tenant that has been renting my current property for 6 years. We rent privately and our Landlord over the last 6 years has been very lax about anything to do with the property. We are now buying our own and have given our landord more than the 1 months notice that we are required to give as we are on a periodic basis. We do want to end our agreement in the middle of a month, we usually pay our rent on the first. Our Landlord is insisting that we pay up until the end of the month. Is she able to do this?
We have given her more time than was required of us so she could organise more tenants etc and to begin with she was fine with everything. We have been excellent tenants and not asked a thing of her in 6 years. She has also neglected to put in place the required safety checks for our gas appliances etc which I know is law for her to do.
Really what I want to know is whether I can legally give notice to end in the middle of a month if I pay on the first or if I have to pay for the full months rent?

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joe 19th February, 2014 @ 11:52

We've got a tenant from hell!
He began renting our apartment in london just over four months ago and has not paid a penny since. As we are letting the apartment with Savills, we followed their advice and have only just issued a section 8 notice which he seems to be suggesting he will ignore and so far he owes nearly £10,000.00. If we have to drag this through the courts this figure will likely double by the time we can actually get him out, and as we have a mortgage, service charges and ground rent to pay, we could easily end up bankrupt by the time it's finished.
I can't believe tenants are able to get away with this and the situation has already caused major stress and problems with my marriage. We have now offered to relieve him of any outstanding rent if he just leaves, but he's so far not accepted.
The problem is that if he does not leave, we will have to take him through the court process to claim for money owed and to evict him, but he could just leave the country after as he's not a british citizen! We'd then be left with all the legal fees, about 20K light and in all probability a repossessed apartment as without the rent coming in, we simply can't afford this length of time covering the outgoings.
So stressed and don't know what to do :-(

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