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What is the Notice period for tenants in the UK?

by | Nov 5, 2022

Home $ Property Management $ What is the Notice period for tenants in the UK?

Introduction

People often end up questioning or regretting any decisions they might have taken in the past. The same can happen when someone is in the shoes of either the landlord or the tenant. 

As a tenant, a person may regret renting a property after living in it for some time, while as a landlord, they may regret letting it out to that tenant.

Occurrences like these are no big deal – they are a part of the daily life of someone involved in the rental sector. However, when such a situation arises, either party must give notice to inform the other. Typically, the notice period for tenants depends on the type of tenancy agreement signed by the parties.

What is The Standard Notice Period for Tenants?

The standard notice period for tenants has been specified quite clearly by the government of the United Kingdom.

According to the laws, if the tenant pays monthly rent, the notice period for tenants has been specified as a minimum of one month. However, if the payments are made weekly, the notice period for tenants is four weeks.

Nonetheless, a tenant should give in a notice earlier than the minimum required time period. This helps ensure that both parties have no further difficulties as the day of move-out and termination of the contract approaches.

Notice clauses in the tenancy agreement

Every landlord carries out tenant management differently, based on their own terms and needs. Thus, it is no surprise that every tenancy agreement can differ from another. Each AST is based on the needs and requirements of both parties involved. Therefore, people may include any extra clauses that specify their demands.

Keeping this in mind, make sure to look for any notice clauses in your tenancy agreement. For example, a landlord may require a notice period for tenants that lasts three months. Similarly, such a clause can also help a tenant ensure their stability and security.

For example, with a three-month notice period, a landlord would not be able to suddenly evict them to bring in a new tenant. Therefore, the tenant will have adequate time to find a new place to rent.

When does a notice clause apply?

Such notice clauses are only applicable in certain situations. It cannot be applied to a fixed-term tenancy and only applies when periodic tenancy continues after the fixed term is completed. 

Thus, if your agreement is a fixed-term tenancy or does not specify itself as a periodic tenancy after the latter ends, the notice clause does not apply.

Does the notice period a landlord has to give depend on the type of tenancy

As a landlord in the United Kingdom, you might often question how much notice does a landlord have to give? The notice period for tenants in the UK is based on the type of tenancy agreement signed between the parties. 

Therefore, any term of this agreement referring to the notice period matters a lot. Understanding the notice period for tenants, types of tenancies, and concepts like what is ppm are all crucial aspects of property management.

Consider notice period a property is for rent

Notice period in Assured Shorthold Tenancies

In the case of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), a notice period is not required. However, the list of conditions stated below should apply to your case:

  • As a landlord, you must have signed a deposit protection scheme with your tenant
  • At least six months of the lease must have passed
  • A fixed term should be completed
  • The tenancy should be a periodic tenancy

However, if any of the conditions stated above is not applicable, the notice period for tenants must be at least two months as stated in section 21 of the landlord and tenant act and the date you want the move-out to take place should be specified.

Notice period in Fixed Term tenancies

In the case of a fixed-term tenancy, if the period stated in the agreement is still valid, you do not have the authority to ask a tenant to leave immediately. 

However, if you want the tenant to move out, you must provide a valid reason based on the Housing Act of 1988. A tenant carrying out illegal activities on your property is an example of the latter. Then, a notice period for tenants can be devised based on your reasoning. 

This explains how the whole property management system not only covers things like property maintenance services to look after during the tenancy but also makes a landlord responsible for ending the lease properly by providing a notice period for tenants

Property managers often use property management software or a property management app to make things more efficient and straightforward for themselves.

Notice period in Assured Tenancies

In assured tenancies, the landlord is still required to give a notice period for tenants and does not hold the authority to exercise forced or sudden eviction.

Like a fixed-term tenancy, the reason for ending the tenancy should be based on the Housing Act of 1988.

Notice period in Excluded Tenancies

If you own a lodge that houses one or more people, this concept of shared space only demands a reasonable notice period for tenants to move out. For this, you must have an excluded tenancy. 

While this notice can be given verbally, the notice period for tenants is typical to the standard notice period for tenants, i.e., if rents are paid monthly, a one-month notice should be given.

Notice period in Non-excluded Tenancies

For non-excluded tenancies, once written notice is provided to the tenant in accordance with the specified notice period for tenants, the tenancy will be terminated.

Notice period and Break Clause

Regarding the notice period for tenants, a break clause works quite similarly to the notice clauses. After six initial months of the lease agreement have passed, the landlord can terminate the tenancy at any given time. 

For further details, click here.

Can the landlord terminate the tenancy agreement early?

This question summarizes and reiterates the idea of the authority of landlords concerning the notice period for tenants. Yes, they can terminate the tenancy agreement earlier than the period specified in the contract. However, they are bound by laws surrounding the circumstances in which it is applicable.

How Does The Landlord End The Tenancy Agreement?

Depending on the terms cited in each agreement, the landlord can end the tenancy either by giving written notice, announcing it verbally, or both. The notice period for tenants varies accordingly.

For example, verbal notice is enough in the case of a shared residence or excluded tenancy. However, the landlord must provide written notice when it comes to a non-excluded tenancy. 

How Does A Landlord Ask The Tenant to Move Out?

The landlord asks a tenant to move out by providing a notice period in written or verbal form based on the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement – as discussed above in this document. 

multiple houses of various colours

People often opt for property management courses to become successful property managers. In the syllabus, they cover great emphasis is put on the notice period for tenants as any errors by the property owner can put him in great difficulty – whether an individual landlord or as one of the leading property management companies

An example of such a company is Prime property management. They are well known worldwide because of their successful block management and excellent customer service. 

How Can A Tenant End The Tenancy Early?

Just like a landlord has the right to end the tenancy agreement earlier, a tenant can also do so by giving a notice period. As always, the conditions change according to the type of tenancy established between both parties.

Fixed-term tenancies

A tenant can only end fixed-term tenancies if it is allowed in the agreement. The only other option available is to negotiate with the landlord and make him/her agree to your end date. 

Break Clause

Suppose the tenancy agreement or the fixed-term tenancy can be ended earlier due to the permission being granted in the contract. The clause that specifies this permission is called the break clause. Sometimes, this break clause can contain further conditions that have to be met before being able to end this agreement.

To summarize the whole idea, in the case of a fixed-term tenancy, the notice period for tenants to specify will depend on the amount of notice mentioned in the break clause.

If there is no break clause, no notice can be given before the fixed-term tenancy ends. Consequently, you can leave the place when the fixed term ends. 

Periodic Tenancies

A periodic tenancy is the most lenient in this regard. A tenant can end it at any given time, provided that they pay the rent till the end of the notice period. A periodic tenancy is established in either of the two cases:

  • There has never been a fixed-term tenancy
  • The fixed-term tenancy has ended, but you continue to lease the accommodation

In the case of periodic tenancies, if you share a space with your landlord, there is no specific amount of notice period for tenants that you are required to provide. The latter can be ended based on what date both parties agree to.

However, if you do not share the accommodation with your landlord, the standard notice periods for tenants apply. For a month-to-month tenancy, one month’s notice is demanded, and four weeks’ worth of notice is required for a week-to-week tenancy. If the tenancy period is extended, you must give the notice equal to your tenancy period.

Now, let’s answer some frequent questions on the subject.

Can a tenant leave the flat before the end of the contract?

No matter whether a flat or any other form of accommodation, the same laws apply to all.

If it is a fixed-term tenancy, you cannot leave before the end of the contract, but in other cases, provided that you meet the set conditions – you are eligible to do so.

Bird tenant leaving the house after serving notice period

How can a tenant correctly write a notice to leave the house?

If you are unsure how to write a notice to your landlord to leave the rental property, you can find hundreds of free templates available online. Generally, you must include your name, address, the date the tenancy will end, and the date you will move out. If worth mentioning, people often like to include the reason for their move out in their notice letter.

In addition, it is crucial to ask the owner for the landlord’s inspection notice. This is based on the last property inspection made by the landlord when you are moving out. 

Click here to see a sample notice letter.

When is A Tenant Evicted From The Property?

A tenant is evicted from the property based on either Section 8 or Section 21 notice. 

A section 21 notice can be used during a periodic tenancy or after a fixed-term tenancy ends. In the UK, two months’ notice should be given for them to leave the property premises. However, supposing the tenant does not move out even after the notice period for tenants has ended, the landlord can use the filled N215 form to apply for an accelerated possession order.

However, a section 8 notice is used when the tenant has broken any tenancy agreement terms. The notice period for tenants using section 8 varies according to the terms the landlord claims tenants have broken.

For further information, click here

Conclusion

Often, landlords make use of a letting agent for tenant referencing. The type of tenancy agreement signed between both parties depends on their mutual needs and requirements. However, renters may want to sign an agreement with private landlords using no agents.

Regardless, a responsible landlord should understand all aspects of the rental sector – from payment issues to the problems neighbours in rented properties across the UK might face. 

However, this responsibility is not one-sided. In some subjects, such as the deposits, shared space, or notice period for tenants, both parties must put in equal effort and acknowledge the laws governing them.

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