How To Terminate A Tenancy Agreement


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AST and evictions

If a landlord wants to end the tenancy agreement then they must give their tenants notice, this must include information and warnings if it’s due to tenants not holding up their end of the bargain. The type of notice landlords must serve will change depending on the tenancy agreement and terms stated within it.

 

Do I need a notice of termination with an AST?

Sometimes it is possible for landlords to ask their tenants to leave without giving them a reason for doing so. However, there are specific rules that they must follow should they take back their property, including:

  • The tenant’s deposit must have been legally protected in a government approved scheme
  • The landlord has given 2 months’ written notice prior to the date they want the property back and the date tenants must vacate the property
  • This date is at least 6 months after the original start of the tenancy agreement
  • The tenant has a periodic tenancy and the landlord gives their notice during this time, i.e. after the AST has expired
  • Landlords can sometimes take steps to evict their tenants rather than respond to a living conditions complaint from the council. When there is an AST in place, the landlord can’t do this and must abide by the eviction procedures laid down in the rental agreement

In 2015, changes were made to the regulations in terms of when landlords are able to evict their tenants, they can’t evict them unless they have provided the below:

  • Copy of the leaflet ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’
  • An EPC
  • A gas safety certificate

Landlords will also have to follow the ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Form 6a)’.

 

How to evict tenants with an AST?

The only time a landlord can legally evict their tenants during the fixed term of their Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement is if they have reasonable grounds for wanting their property back.

This states that if the tenant falls behind on their rent, or has used the property illegally, such as dealing drugs or the landlord wants to move back into their property, and then the landlord is able to start the formal eviction process.

The notice period given for this type of eviction can be anything between 2 weeks to 2 months and it varies depending on the justification used for the repossession of the property.

 

 Evictions and Assured Tenancies 

Tenants renting in the private sector with an assured tenancy have long-term tenancy rights. Most assured tenancies are from 1989 to 1997.

Assured tenancies apply if:

  • The tenant pays rent to a private landlord
  • The landlord doesn’t live in the property
  • The tenant moved in between 15th January 1989 – 27th February 1997 and the landlord didn’t serve a notice stating that the tenancy has become an assured shorthold tenancy

If you think you have an assured tenancy find out more here.

The landlord can only evict tenants from an assured tenancy under specific circumstances and they must use one of the reasons listed in the Housing Act 1988. The landlord must provide the tenant with a written notice of eviction also called a Section 8 notice and it must also include the reason why the landlord is evicting you and the earliest date for court proceedings to commence.

The eviction notice must also be for a certain period of time and after this length of time, the landlord can then apply to the court for a possession order. The length of time will vary depending on the reason the landlord is evicting you, which can be anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months.

Find out more about assured tenancy evictions.

 

Evictions and Excluded Tenancies or Licences

This type of tenancy agreement will apply to tenants who are also living with their landlord, usually a lodger, and they share rooms with them.

Excluded tenancies apply if:

  • The tenant shares their accommodation with their landlord
  • The tenant lives in the same property as their landlord and share accommodation with their family
  • The tenant lives in council or housing association owned hostels
  • The tenant does not pay rent

Find out more regarding excluded tenancies.

In this situation, the landlord only needs to give a ‘reasonable’ amount of notice to evict their tenants. This could range from the length of the rental payment period in the lodger’s agreement, so if the agreement states that the rent is to be paid on a weekly basis, then the lodger will only get a week’s notice for evictions. The landlord is not required to give written notice in this instance, verbal notice is also permitted.

 

Evictions and Non-excluded tenancies or licences

A non-excluded tenancy or licence also relates to lodgers, and under this tenancy agreement, they have basic protection of their statutory rights.

A non-excluded tenancy applies if:

  • The rent doesn’t exceed £250 per year
  • The tenant’s main area of residence is elsewhere, i.e. they live at the property during the week and live at their main residence at the weekend
  • The landlord is resident at the property but doesn’t share the living accommodation with the tenant

Read more about non-excluded tenancies.

The landlord has the right to serve a written ‘notice to quit’ to their tenants any time throughout the tenancy or agreement. The notice period will differ from case to case but it is usually a month. If the lodger doesn’t leave then their landlord will need to obtain a court order to be able to evict them.

 

Read more about tenancy agreements using our FAQ’s below.

What are the different types of tenancy agreements?

What information should a tenancy agreement include?

How to terminate a tenancy agreement?

No tenancy agreement – what are my rights?

How to prepare a rental contract?


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