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Tag Archives: notice

Tenants notice to leave

Tenants noticesThere is often a bit of confusion about what notices tenants need to serve when they want to end the tenancy and leave.

So I thought in todays post I would just clarify this.

The rules are different depending on whether the fixed term has ended or not.

If the fixed term has not ended yet

In most cases the tenant will not be legally entitled to end the tenancy before the end of the fixed term. There are two circumstances when this can be done:

1. Under a break clause.

This is a special clause which is sometimes used in longer fixed terms to allow the landlord and the tenant to end the tenancy early.

A couple of points:

  • It must be even handed.  A clause which just allows the landlord to end early and not the tenant will be invalid under the unfair terms regulations
  • You need to do exactly what it says. So if it says you need to serve a written notice giving not less than two months notice, that is what you have to do (for example). So read it carefully

2. By agreement.

If the landlord and tenant between them agree to end the tenancy early, there is nothing to stop them doing this. This is generally known as a ‘surrender’.

Its a good idea to set out the terms of the agreement in writing (for example if the landlord makes it a condition that they tenant pays his costs of referencing new tenants). But not essential.

If the fixed term has ended and/or if the tenancy is a periodic one

Tenants Notice to Quit

The tenant can end the tenancy by serving a notice to quit on the landlord.

A notice to quit is an old ‘common law’ notice which has the effect of ending the tenancy (but only if it is a periodic tenancy). It must give the landlord a notice period of one ‘period’ of the tenancy and end at the end of the period.

So if the tenancy is a monthly periodic tenancy running from the 4th day in the month to the 3rd, then the notice needs to end on the next 3rd day of the month after one month of service of the notice on the landlord.

Another way of putting this is that the notice period will be between one and two months depending on when in the month it is served.

If the tenant then fails to move out, there is a very old law which says the landlord can claim double rent which you can read about here.


Note that only tenants can serve a Notice to Quit in an assured or an assured shorthold tenancy, as the Housing Act 1988 specifically says that it cannot be used by landlords.

Landlords need to use the s21 and s8 notice procedures and get a court order for possession if the tenant fails to vacate.

Note – Any landlords wanting to evict their tenants can read about my DIY eviction service here.

Can our landlord increase the rent by this notice?


The landlord has increased the rent while the tenants are in arrears. Is the increase valid?Continue Reading

Three misunderstanding about tenants rights when a section 21 notice is served on them

Section 21 notice

Tenants often panic when a section 21 notice is served on them. Hopefully this post will provide some guidanceContinue Reading

Questions about using section 21


Two questions about section 21 – when you serve the notice on a tenant and what you can do about suing them if they don’t pay rentContinue Reading

Six essential tips on how to use a section 21 notice to evict a tenant

Six essential tips

Landlords are often confused about section 21 notice – this post looks at the possible pitfalls if you want to use one to evict your tenantContinue Reading

Do I need to give two months notice for a periodic tenancy?


A tenant reader seeks answers to questions on periodic tenancy and tenancy deposit problems – including the amont of notice he has to giveContinue Reading

Is this section 21 notice correct?


Has Richard’s section 21 notice been properly drafted? We take a look and give reasons – but he should have served a saving clauseContinue Reading

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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