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Tenants giving notice

One of my long standing tenants texted me last week giving me notice that they were leaving my rental property by the end of the month. They apologised for the fact that they couldn’t give me a full months notice. 

Well that’s magnanimous of them. I don’t think that they actually realise that they are legally bound to give me a clear months notice and it will be interesting to see their reaction once they’ve got my email pointing this out.

The law

My tenancy as is the case with the majority of tenancies was a 6 month fixed term tenancy. It commenced way back on the 28th January 2006. Like many of my tenancies it continued past the end of the fixed term period and became a periodic tenancy running from month to month.

Property Hawk’s tenancy agreement and the law governing tenancies contained within the Housing Acts specify that notice should be given in writing. However, most landlords including me are happy to get it by email. If a tenant texts me I always just ask them to confirm by email so that I have something tangible for your records.

Notice period

If the tenancy was within the fixed term then the tenant would be liable to pay rent for the whole of the term unless you release the tenant from the contract.
However, if as in my this case because the tenancy had become a periodic tenancy the tenant must give a clear months notice. As the tenancy started on the 28th of the month and the tenant having only given me notice on the 15th August, this is only satisfactory notice for ending the tenancy on the 27th September.

Some landlords and letting agents may specify an end date to their tenancy where the tenancy end date is the same as the start date.
(some landlords and agents specify the same date for starting and finishing – see this recent article )

Getting a new tenant

I admit it’s a pain having to get a new tenant in. Why do they always leave at the worst time? I’ve decided to try initially to get a tenant in without employing the services of a letting agent. This is because the tenant find service I’ve used in the past has put it’s prices up from £200 to £250.

However, I’m also considering using a ‘twin track’ approach.

That is advertising it independently on one of the low cost letting portals and getting it on Rightmove , whilst at the same time employing the services of a local letting agency on a let only basis.

I’ll fill you in at a later date of my experiences. By using a letting agent I’ll hope to get them to put the property on at £50 more per month. That way if they let it 6 months worth of rent will cover their letting costs and if the tenancy goes on past the 6th months then I’m quids in!

The good news

The good news is that as rents continue to rise I’m hoping to up the rent from the current £525 per month to £550 or even £575. I am conscious though of taking my own advice to ‘Avoid the Voids’ at all costs. Given that I’ve established that the tenant is now responsible for paying the rent until the 28th September this has taken the pressure off a little.

My exiting tenant works in my local M & S food hall This means that there has been some very weird aisle dodging maneuverings as we both attempt to avoid an embarrassing face to face meeting

As a landlord who advocates the benefits of investors buying locally it is at these times when their is a downside to the proximity of tenants.

Discounted landlord insurance with Alan Boswell


Just a question. I have a private house rented two two friends. One is leaving in November but the other is remaining on a period agreement which they are both on. What do I have to do when one emails me saying he is leaving and of course agreed. Is there a form or do I just strike his name from the agreement and get both to sign and sign a letter thanks Steve

Firstly if it’s a long-standing tenant then you’ve done well from them and if they are leaving urgently it’s rather petty of you to try and squeeze them. At least be gracious enough to ask them what’s up.
Secondly I think your understanding of the law is wrong (admittedly somewhat confusing on the matter) they are required to give you one month’s notice on an SPT- that’s all. Nothing to do with payment dates even though it suits you. You’d have difficulty enforcing it and a lot of bad feeling.

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