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End of periodic tenancy

Hi,

I’m a private tenant in London, and my question relates to my tenancy agreement which recently changed from AST to Statutory Periodic Tenancy with 1 month notice period for me and 2 months for the landlord.

My contract says (two excerpts):

  1. Whilst bound by the terms of the original agreement, you are able to give one months’ notice (in line with the rental due date) to terminate your tenancy.

  2. The first payment shall be made on the 21 November 2019. Thereafter, payments shall be made on the 21st of each month.

Now, if I want to serve my notice in such a way that I don’t have to pay more than one month’s rent (while occupying the property), I assume I need to serve it on a 20th of a month. That would mean the rent I pay on the 21st will be the last one and I have exactly till the 20th of the next month to vacate the property.

I even asked a property lawyer on justanswer.co.uk to confirm that but the answer wasn’t quite what I thought. I was told:

If you serve your notice on the 21st, then you would be able to vacate at the end of the following month. So it would be one month +10 days or so. Although it depends whether the landlord decides to take exception to it or whether these happy with the 21st to the 20th.
It seems unlikely he is going to take you to court for 10 days rent but you never know.

To be honest, that doesn’t make any sense. Why does it have to be exactly end of month? The logic suggests I can tell before my last paid month starts and that will be exactly one month notice period (that is 30 days since the moment I tell).

Okay, first things first: you and your landlord can, in theory, come to any agreement.

Your landlord could potentially agree to let you stay for an extra month without rent. (not likely) You could agree to pay last month’s rent and move out the day after you’ve paid. (not likely)

My point is that lawyers and court only need to get involved when you and the landlord are not on amicable terms. If you’re both on amicable terms then you can come to whatever agreement suits you both.

It sounds like that’s what the lawyer is saying as well. While it may technically be 20th last day, it’s unlikely a landlord will bother dragging you to court over 10 days. I suspect the way you worded the question confused the lawyer and made them believe you want to move out on the 30th.

If you’re unsure you can always just move out by the 20th to be safe.

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you are only allowed to stay for the 30 days rent you pay in advance. so you need to give notice at the beginning of this 30 days. Any extra days stayed are deductible from the deposit.

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The wording of the agreement is poorly drafted, but your suggestion to serve notice on 20th should be fine.

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You are correct.

So in the event this Tenancy becomes a Periodic Tenancy, the Landlord agrees that the Tenant can terminate the Tenancy by giving the Landlord not less than one month notice in writing. The Tenant agrees that the Landlord can terminate the Tenancy by giving the Tenant not less the two months notice in writing. It may be mutually agreed that such notice period must expire at the end of a period being the 20th of a month (in line with the rent due date).

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Thank you everyone for your advice.

The latest reply from the lawyer was:

A lot depends on what the landlord wants to do but it must cover one full month and one rental period so for example if you pay the rent on the 20th and you hand your noticing in on the 20th you would not be able to leave until the last day of the following month because that covers one full month including one for rental period.

Just to make it clear - I’m a “good” tenant, I have no issues with the rent and even paying pro rata if I stay after my notice period ends. All I need to understand is if I can expect the landlord to agree to “let me go” within the “pre-paid” month after I serve my notice. Is this too much to ask for? How can the landlord “make” me stay longer than the notice period if it ends not exactly on the last day of a month? I do understand we can come to an agreement but why do I need to agree on something that should be “by default”?

I couldn’t find anything in the tenancy agreement about it, it just tells what my rent due date is, and the one month for periodic tenancy, that’s it. How come I may be forced to stay and pay more - just doesn’t make any sense at all.

The agent is mistaken. Your notice can legally expire on the last or first day of a tenancy period so notice given on 20th can expire on 20th, which is over a full month.

You can normally serve notice earlier such as 18th or 19th to expire on 19th of following month. I wasn’t sure about the wording you quoted, but you could always serve notice both on 19th and 20th in the certainty that one of them will be right.

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