Ending a Tenancy Agreement the Right Way

Over the last few weeks we have been baffled by the amount of landlords and tenants who have no idea how to end a tenancy agreement in the right way.

If a tenant moves in three cats and five dogs contrary to the initial agreement, or insists on playing Take That’s greatest hits until the early hours and you decide that’s enough “this tenancy must end” a simple eviction letter will NOT do the job! You must use a prescribed form: a Section 21 Notice Requiring Possession.

We have noticed a trend in recent months for homeowners to become ‘reluctant landlords’ down to the fact that selling their property has not been feasible in the current climate, and we believe that this goes some way towards describing this lapse of knowledge. The motto of the story is seek out advice from a professional lettings agent in Cambridge first!

Here are our top tips for ending a tenancy agreement in the right way:

1. You cannot evict a tenant using a text message, email or quick call on the way to the pub! If you are serving notice on your tenant you must give them at least two months written notice, known as a section 21 notice as mentioned above.

There are two kinds of section 21 notices and you must use the correct one depending on whether the tenancy is within a contractual or periodic term. If the tenant wants to leave, they must give you one full months notice from when the next installment of rent is due or more subject to the requirements of the individual tenancy agreement.

2. Check that you registered the tenants deposit correctly at the start of the tenancy and check the amount that was given to you. This will ensure that you are fully prepared for the final inspection of the property.

4. In a deposit dispute, remember that your inventory is key to your success. If you failed to compile one, you may be about to learn a very hard lesson! I can promise you that if you are caught in the midst of a dispute, this will be one lesson that you will never forget!!

5. Make sure you write to your tenant before the move out date and give them instructions on cleaning and rubbish removal. In my experience, the word ‘clean’ can be very subjective! So be very specific and make sure that your tenant knows what is expected.

6. On the day they are due to move out meet with your tenant and write down and take photos of any problems with the property, and get the tenant to agree the faults noted. It helps also if you had the foresight to make a record of the condition of the property before the tenants moved in so reduce the room for dispute.

If you are a private landlord and feel that you need help managing your tenant check in or check out or need help ending a tenancy and the other things which are required during a tenancy then you can call Belvoir Lettings Agency in Cambridge for free advice on 01223 352225 or by email at cambridge@belvoirlettings.com