Ending a tenancy
If you want to end your tenancy you should first check your tenancy agreement, which will say how much notice you need to give your landlord. If you're not sure what type of tenancy you have, the Shelter website can help you work it out.
Most types of tenancy will require you to give 28 days’ notice in writing to your landlord or letting agent. You can use our template letter as a guide to what information you need to include when you tell your landlord you want to end your tenancy. Make sure you keep a copy of the letter, and that they acknowledge that they've received it. It's a good idea to deliver the letter by hand and get a receipt, or send the letter by recorded delivery.
If you want to end your tenancy early, before the end of the fixed term (usually the first six or 12 months), your landlord can require you to keep paying rent for the full length of the fixed term. You can't just end a tenancy by giving notice within the fixed term.
Your landlord may be willing to let you leave your tenancy early, before the end of the fixed term; this is called ‘surrendering the tenancy’. Both sides must agree to this, and it's important to get a written agreement between you and your landlord in case of any future dispute.
In order to gain possession of a tenanted property you must follow the correct legal procedure. Ordinarily you'll need to give your tenant two months’ notice (depending on the type of tenancy), and you can't ask them to leave during the fixed term of the tenancy (normally the first six or 12 months) unless you're both in agreement.
The exact process you need to follow depends on the type of tenancy. If you don't follow the correct procedure you could be committing an illegal eviction, which is a criminal offence, and your tenant and/or ourselves could take legal action against you.
You can find more information on the process you must follow from the Gov.uk website.
You must not pressurise your tenant to leave, do anything which you know is likely to make them leave when they don't want to or prevent them from exercising their legal rights. This includes things like repeatedly disturbing them, disconnecting utility supplies, creating noise or preventing them from accessing the property. Actions like this constitute harassment, which is a criminal offence for which both the police and ourselves can take action against you.
Additionally there are new rules where eviction is taking place following a complaint being made about conditions in the property and the council has been involved in relation to these conditions. Further details on this can be found on the Shelter website.
If you're in any doubt about the legal process you need to follow in order to evict a tenant, you should seek legal advice before taking any action.