How To End / Terminate A Tenancy Agreement The Right Way

How To End / Terminate A Tenancy Agreement The Right Way

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Well, this was bound to happen, wasn’t it?

Covering the topic of how to end a tenancy agreement seems like natural 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.

Anyways, let’s get to it, here’s a guide on how to end / terminate a tenancy agreement the right way.

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IMPORTANT: End your Tenancy Agreement the right way!

Ending a tenancy agreement may seem like an easy process. Actually, to be fair, it is a relatively simple process, but it’s usually not as easy as many landlords would hope, and that’s why many terminations aren’t 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 because the proper procedures weren’t followed by the landlord. In that situation, the landlord could unwillingly find them self attached to an excruciatingly annoying occupant that has legal rights to stay put, along with a hefty legal bill. Lose/lose situation.

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 that may not always be 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 in order to avoid a train wreck.

I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to handle the termination of tenancies the right way, in order to avoid potentially long and painful delays.

Different ways of Ending a Tenancy

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.

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 serving a Section 21 notice (under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988).

A section 21 is NOT necessarily an eviction notice served when a tenant has done something wrong, it’s simply a notice to inform the tenant that the landlord wishes to take their property back. 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 a minimum of 2 months’ written notice from the landlord if they wish to end the tenancy. So if the end date in the tenancy agreement is 21st March 2019, and the landlord wishes to repossess the property on that date, a notice needs to be received by the tenant before 21st January 2019.

Ending/Terminating a Periodic Tenancy

If you wish to end a Periodic Tenancy (i.e. typically a rolling month-by-month contract, which automatically takes effect after the ‘fixed term’ expires where no new contract is signed), you can also serve a Section 21 notice to end the tenancy.

There is a small nuance when it comes to periodic tenancies and serving a section 21 notice:

  • If you have a “Statutory Periodic Agreement” any break clause included in the original tenancy agreement becomes invalidated. A minimum of 2 months notice is required.
  • If you have a “Contractual Periodic Tenancy” you should follow the relevant notice period set out in the original tenancy agreement.

If you’re not sure what the hell you have, allow my guide on periodic tenancies to shed some light on the matter.

2) Tenancy Surrender

I guess this is the opposite 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 2019, the tenant should ensure the notice is received by the landlord before 21st February 2019.

3) Mutual agreement

A mutual agreement can be exercised at any point during a tenancy. it’s when both landlord and tenant agree to end the tenancy. Ultimately, a “mutual agreement” to terminate a tenancy can be agreed upon from 1 day into a tenancy. It happens.

From my experience, mutual agreements are exercised 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 side note, 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 permits the 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 within 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 may be 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 end of tenancy cleaning blog post.

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.

Best of luck (and make sure to always follow the proper procedures to save yourself from a whole heap of pain) xoxo

55 Join the Conversation...

Showing 5 - 55 comments (out of 55)
Guest Avatar
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.

Malcolm P

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

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).

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.

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!

Guest Avatar
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.

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


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

Guest Avatar
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.

Guest Avatar
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

Guest Avatar
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?

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

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?

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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?

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

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).

Guest Avatar
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..

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

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.

Guest Avatar
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.

Guest Avatar
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

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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Lee White 25th June, 2017 @ 08:50

I have tenants that have passed their short term lease and are really month by month, I have started having difficulties with them, where the boiler requires repairing, they refuse to to talk to the plumbers direct, so a time can be arranged between them that suits, so it ends up where I arrange then they say that time is no good and that I need to rearrange. they are becoming extremely rude and refusing access. I feel that it is time for them to move on, what is the best way to get them out within a notice period and how much can i raise the rent if they prove difficult

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loretta 28th June, 2017 @ 19:07

i gave my tenant notice to quit and section 33 (notice of possession)during this time he trashed the double glazed windows. Not sure of any other damage. The tenant has put a bolt on the door so I couldn't get in to check. He says he is still living there with the broken windows etc. I heard he had move in with a friend. Is staying with the section 33 (2 months notice) best or should I issue an eviction order or both. Any help appreciated. Also how can I board up the windows if he doesn't let me in even after giving 24 hrs notice.thanks.

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Diane Bull 28th June, 2017 @ 19:39

Im always on here, searching for advice, information and comments.

I have just read that if you issue a tenancy agreement and that it comes to an end. The tenant has to give you one month's notice that he does not wish to renew the tenancy or change to a month to month.
I had this recently (see my posting earlier).

Unfortunately, the DPS does not agree with you.

I challenged the deposit held stating that I wanted a full month's deposit in lieu of notice as he had only given me ten days notice. They paid him the full amount back.

Not only did he not leave on the last day but he didnt hand the keys back for two days extra (I had arranged for him to leave them with a neighbour as I was out of the country) effectively going into a new month. I definitely thought he owed me one month's notice.

He also left the place filthy. So, I tried to get reimbursed for the £45 it cost me to get the cleaners in. But the DPS gave him that back too. He stated that it was filthier when he moved in. As I had never disputed the deposit before. I had sent photos of when he moved out. Pictures of mould, cobwebs, grime, cooker, soap scum, black filth in the washing machine, black filth in the 2 month old fridge freezer - but as I hadnt sent photos in for when he moved in. They believe him. I was shocked. As if anyone would move in under those conditions.

He has gone now. Ive learnt another lesson. Im always learning. Dont put your deposit with DPS they always side with the tenant.

Im now receiving post for him, CCJ's, unpaid bills, etc.

Not a nice experience.

But back to my first point. The DPS said he did not have to give me any notice, the tenancy came to an end and he could move out on the day with no penalty.

Also because i was out of the country that day. He could keep the keys longer and effectively not go into another new month of tenancy.

PLEASE comment if you disagree or have anything to say..

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Kazz 8th August, 2017 @ 23:47

I have had problems with rent collection for 3 months as my tenant said his esa had been reduced.He currently owes 5weeks rent paying bits here and there.He told me he wanted to leave as he couldn't afford and would move in with his mother.I agreed as his father,who works,has moved in and rent was still behind.
He then changed his mind and decided he could afford it and wanted to stay.I refused i feel done with calling for rent different days 5 times per month.He's been to shelter who told him he needs a section 21as he wants a council property?He gives notice then I issue an eviction notice is that legal?He has breached the tenancy agreement by subletting and he expected me to let him leave mid tenancy with no arrears payment which I was doing.My last tenant had a dog and let it mess all in the living room the carpet was saturated and the rest arrears etc etc...nightmare Everything is weighted in tenants favour even if bought to add to your pension to live your tenants will be considered worse off than you x you will never get what your owed while they get legal aid & walk away while you pay their bills !so,,,If they refuse to go i think I should put the rent up until tenancy ends as it's not at what it's worth ..can I ?

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carl mauri 11th September, 2017 @ 19:35

I'm a joint tenant, unfortunately myself & my wife are separating 7months in to a year tenancy (assured shorthold tenancy) my wife contacted landlord & asked permission for tenancy to end early - he sent authorisation to the letting agency & they emailed us stating that they had the landlords permission to end the tenancy & for us to vacate on 19th September - this letter was dated 24/08/17 ! 2 weeks later we get another email stating that the landlord does not want us to vacate & the letter superceeds all other correspondence received !
all emails kept so have record of all . can we move out or are we liable to stay until full duration of the year ???
thanks in advance

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Eric 12th September, 2017 @ 11:49

Hi Carl,

In my opinion, since you were initially given permission for the tenancy to end early, then the landlord can't go back on that, and trying to supersede the decision with another letter is just ridiculous.

Just say you have already made plans to move out as per the initial permission granted.

I wouldn't worry, I would just move out.

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A Frustrated Tenant 16th September, 2017 @ 16:58

I have been told by my landlord that I am going to be served a Section 8 notice to quit. The letting agents had told her that I had been ill for the past few months, and that I had fallen behind on cleaning and tidying as a result, but had made sure I kept the bathroom and kitchen reasonably clean.

I was surprised when my landlord turned up this week unannounced and carried out an impromptu flat inspection. [One thing that I have noticed the past year or so is coming home and getting the feeling that someone has been in while I've been out].

Even though she has been told about my health, her view is that this is not a sufficient reason for falling behind with tidying, and she later shoved a letter through my door telling me that she will pursue eviction using Section 8. The letting agents tell me they can't do anything about it (and I got an aggressive text message from her objecting to me speaking to them). It feels like kicking a man when he's down. She knows I've been quite ill and in hospital a few times.

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CELIA MCCORMICK 6th May, 2019 @ 14:00

Hi, not sure what to do? Tenant moved into my property (along with 15 year old Daughter but I believe from my Neighbours her'partner' is also living there) on 17/12/18 under a STA and was adamant a 3 month max' rental was required, so I drew up an addendum to this effect, realise now it was all a ruse. I did NOT put the deposit into the protected scheme (previous tenant was at the property for 15 years, we didn't even have a contract), I was only made aware of the scheme about a month later by the Tenant. She then offset the deposit against the rent in February. (note Deposit has since been put into the protected scheme, but sadly not within the required time scale). Tenant has not paid rent since March. I am currently working and residing in the UAE. I have given her written notice by e mail and returned to the UK in March to take possession. I was allowed into the property along with a very good friend. Initially Tenant was 'reasonable'although denied receiving any written notification (sent by e mail) and said that she would be moving out within days, possibly a week maximum. However when I pressed her for information regarding the new accommodation her attitude changed and I was asked to leave the property. There were several small jobs which needed attention which I said my Brother would attend to but this was not well received. In the 3 weeks I was in the UK she became very difficult and in the end would not agree to the 3 x appointments I made for my Handyman to do the various work. She did pay for the extra weeks rent, ie, 17/03 - 24/03 but has not paid anything since. So on 23/05/19 she will be 2 months in arrears. I received very convoluted text a couple of weeks ago suggesting that a percentage of her Gas Bill be offset against rent for April. She maintains that it was more than double what it should be and that this was due to the inefficient Heating system. (There was a problem and on Christmas Day it seems the heating went off for several hours, however I have a contract with British Gas who were notified immediately and a goodwill gesture of £85 was given and taken from January's rent). She alluded several times that she would be leaving...but she is still there. I am almost tempted to suggest that if she leaves by 23/05 that I will pay the aforementioned bill of £1000. Could you possibly advise the best course of action? I am at my wits end.

Many thanks


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Daniel 15th May, 2019 @ 07:52

On the new section 21 do you have to put the landlords address or the agents address?

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Tara 2nd June, 2019 @ 08:37

I wish to serve a section 21 notice on my tenants as I need to move back in to the property myself. They are on a periodic tenancy. I have found somewhere (can't remember the source) that I can give them 42 days notice rather than 2 months. Can you anyone give me any more information on this as I am keen to give them notice and move back in as soon as possible.


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The Landlord 2nd June, 2019 @ 13:44

You have to give them a minimum of 2 months notice (at least, for ASTs in England & Wales). I've never heard of a 42 day notice period - sounds like baloney to me!

On the GOV website in regards to the conditions that must be met to end a tenancy:

...the following must apply:

you’ve given your tenants at least 2 months’ written notice that you want the property back (‘notice to quit’) and the date they must leave

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LouiseP 24th September, 2019 @ 07:00

A new landlord, not fully versed in the law....bitten hard ;(

Had 3 great tenants who loved in and out of their own accord. Great, no problem, I thought

New tenants are fully versed and have pulled me up on the deposit, wanting 1k compensation and asking for 3.5k in 'damages' as I served them notice incorrectly...
It looks like I need to have agreements rewritten and accept the deposit piece (didn't know But did register the funds the day their solicitors letter landed!

Is 3.5k extortion/blackmail? Do I have a case to go to court for a genuine lack of understanding of the law and a much more reasonable compensation?

Thanks for any advice, very very stressed

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P/T Landlord 9th October, 2019 @ 11:44

My husband and I now let out our original home - a two bed flat in a city centre, which is popular, for professionals and students alike. We are lucky therefore in usually having considerable interest when advertising that it's available.
As we only let one property we do it ourselves, and always use 'gut instinct' when deciding on a potential tenant.
We have come across a question that I would like some advice on though, a potential tenant (couple) came to view last week, and indicated that it would be themselves, their young child and a third male person. The female indicated she would be paying (as she was in work), and therefore wanted to be the named tenant, but we have reservations regarding the other two males. (Apologies for generalising to those who are decent and considerate tenants, yes they do exist!)If we agree, should we be adding all three adults to sign the agreement, that way we can 'vet' them (get ID, check financial/employment positions etc), rather than just the female taking responsibility over them? I don't want the flat to potentially get trashed by unemployed adults just living there at the expense of one and having little or no control to get them out as they would not be named tenants.
Previously we have had three students together, who were not that easy, but did pay rent on time, but we have decided that it is less risky to go for those in secure employment!

I would really appreciate advice or thoughts on the matter of who should sign the agreement.
Many thanks

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nick 11th October, 2019 @ 21:47

Hi all,
My tenants owe rent from 14th August and to date owe £1490 with £745 becoming due 14th October.
They have continually ignored my texts and don't answer the door when I have visited.
I have remained very reasonable and been totally accepting of their hard luck stories but this is now getting out of hand.
Their AST ends 14th November. I didn't serve notice before now wanting to give
them the benefit of the doubt
My question is how do I serve notice if they won't answer the door?
I know they won't sign for a recorded delivery.
What is the quickest least pricey way to remove my tenants from my property please.
I have protected their tenancy and they were issued a gas safety certificate when they moved in.
Can I give prescribed info about their deposit and epc info now? or will it go against me if I serve section 21?Thank you in advance

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Pam 26th January, 2020 @ 23:57


I've been living in my current property since May 2019. The initial agreement was with a guy who said he was the 'house manager' and he's the only tenant that has any contact with the landlord. Everyone's rent and deposit goes through him to the landlord. The agreement was via email to which he states 1. No two tenants can move out within 6 weeks of each other and 2. Should a tenant not be able to make rent then he will deduct monies from the deposit and will serve you with 4 weeks notice of leaving the property.

Is any of this even legal? As it goes, this guy is a complete asshole and has made living in the property extremely uncomfortable due to his incredible mood swings, uncleanliness and refusal to do anything remotely property related considering her the 'house manager'.

Suffice to say, I have teamed up with one of the other tenants and we have decided to get our own flat together. We told him this is what we were doing and he actually apologised and admitted he wasn't the easiest person to live with. I said that I wanted to not pay my last months rent and he can take the money from my deposit (which works out to be more than the monthly rent). He said this wasn't possible as he can't access the money right away! (Well, where the eff is it mate!?)

Am I within my rights to withhold rent, from a man who isn't even the landlord, and allow him to take my deposit money to pay the rent because he makes it uncomfortable to live under the same roof as him?

Thank you in advance!

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Vicky 29th July, 2020 @ 10:41

Silly me, in a fit of compassion I let out a Little bungalow to a friend's daughter, dispite every nerve in my body yelling NO!!!
My now tenant is 43, pregnant, has paranoid schizophrenia and was homeless at the beginning of the pandemic, sleeping in a tent until it got washed away in a storm. You get the picture?
In many ways she is the perfect tenant, super houseproud, excellent bill payer, etc, etc.
However, within a week she had a super-sized meltdown, throwing things at neighbours houses, shouting and ranting and scaring the local kids. This was sorted after various officials, including police and paramedics visited, and the neighbours, being a lovely lot forgave her, however, the alcoholic, junky boyfriend has arrived back on the scene. He also has mental health problems, and they don't do rowing behind closed doors. Obviously she has to go, I know she will probably end back up on the streets as she has been evicted many, many times before.
Last night the boyfriend was arrested and dragged off after verbally abusing the neighbours.
Is there a kind way of going about this? I have no desire to become involved further than I am, I have great respect for the others in the street so go she must. Any thoughts, apart from the fact that I am a total mug, who actually saw this coming, and deserves the s*** falling on me now.

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Michael mc keaney 1st March, 2021 @ 09:56

I have given section 21to Tennant do I have to renew the tenancy agreement which is due 3/3/21 the date on section 21 for possession is 4/5/21 had to give 6. Months notice account of viruse

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Ben 2nd December, 2021 @ 01:51

Hi, how do you gain possession of your own house when the occupier is your ex?
I was forced into an agreement(not a tenancy)after we separated, for 22 months(ended March 2020) i send her a letter but got no response, she is in possession of my keys, i have no access to my property, basically she used my name to get a mortgage for herself.
Because never was any deposit i cant serve S21. Due to covid i was forced to continue in this situation, I cant rent or sell, and im forced to pay high price rent, since i have nowhere else to live. How can i get possession? She uses a third party for payment of the mortgage, she never wanted her name in anything. This situation is causing me loss and damage and depression. Thanks for any help in advance.

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Kiran 8th June, 2022 @ 07:44

My Wife and I have a buy to let property with outstanding mortgage. Now we are retired and have no other income coming we have decided to sell the buy to let property. The reason is that we have variable rate mortgage and at this age we cannot negotiate new terms. The recent increase in Bank of England base rate has upped our repayment and the rental income is not sufficient to cover the current repayment. We served the section 21 two months ago. We cannot put the property in the market with tenant still in there. The female tenant who is single with two children who are almost 18years old has said that she cannot get another 3bedroom property for the rent she is paying now.She cannot afford to pay higher rent. We cannot subsidies her life style bearing in mind that we are retired and we cannot afford to pay the increased mortgage instalment. We have an buy to let agent and we have to pay their monthly management fees.
Any suggestion what we could do next to get the tenant out as soon as possible would be appreciated

















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