How and what you say depends on the type of contract you have with them, so now is a good time to read through your documents and check for information like:
Periodic tenancy or fixed-term tenancy?
A periodic tenancy rolls on month to month (sometimes week to week), meaning you can give your notice fairly freely. You might have had this set-up from the start of your tenancy, or more likely you’ve lived there for a fixed term and your contract continued as a periodic tenancy. A fixed-term tenancy has an end date, for example 6 months or 12 months from when you moved in. You might not be able to end your contract before this date unless your landlord makes an exception or your contract includes a break clause.
Leave early with a break clause
Some fixed-term tenancy contracts include a break clause – a milestone before your end-date that lets you give your notice early. For example, after 6 months into a 12-month contract you might have a break clause in your contract. From this point you can give your notice to leave the property. If you do not have a break clause in your contract there will usually be fees associated with leaving the property early and you will likely be liable for rent until the property is re-let.
Check your notice period
You need to give your landlord enough notice before you move out. The length of the notice period varies but it’s usually at least a month. Check your contract to find your notice period and to find out when you are able to end your tenancy. If you are unclear on the notice period and whether or not you can get out of your tenancy make sure you check with your landlord or letting agent.
Put your notice in writing
Depending on your relationship with your landlord, you might want to tell them on the phone or next time you see them that you’re planning on moving out, but this isn’t necessary. Putting it in writing is. You can write a letter and post it to your landlord or your contract might say it’s acceptable to give notice by email.
How to write your notice letter
Your letter or email to your landlord might look something like this:
‘I am giving X month's notice to end my tenancy at [first line of address], as required by my contract. I will be leaving the property on [your moving out date].
I would like to meet you on the day I move out to check the inventory and for me to return the keys.’
If you’re posting it, keep a copy of your letter for your records and a proof of postage certificate from the post office. You don’t need to worry about this if you’ve emailed it.
Once you’ve given your notice, it’s a good idea to start the process of getting the property ready for moving out day and inventory checks. Starting to clean and repair damage now should give you enough time to solve any problems, giving you the best chance of getting your deposit back if you have one or avoiding claims if you have a Zero Deposit™ Guarantee. For tips and advice, check out our End of Tenancy Hub.