End of tenancy verbal vs. written notice

Me and my flat mate took a 9 month contract from 7th September 2017 till 7th June 2018. (University students).
My flat mate contacted the agent on the 1st May to say we were moving out and asked for advice. They told her to take Meter readings and hand in the keys.
My flat mate handed in her keys on the 11th May and I moved out 25th May however we were fully paid up till the 7th June. My keys went back in the 25th May.
The agent contacted us on the 22nd May saying that as we didn’t put this in writing we have to pay two more months rent.
How do I deal with this and our deposit.

Hey Christa, a few relevant things to tie up here.

Firstly, if you’re giving notice, it does have to be in writing.

The conditions for giving notice (e.g. how many months notice you must give) should be written in your agreement.

You need to read your agreement carefully now, since if tenants move out on (i.e. pay no more rent after, and have vacated the flat by the) final day of the fixed term, then they don’t need to give any notice unless there is a term in the agreement explicitly saying that they do.

In other words, you could move out (as defined above) on the 7th June without giving any notice unless the agreement includes a clause saying something like “The tenant must give [x] months’ notice in writing if ending the tenancy on the final day of the fixed term”.

Does your agreement contain such a clause?

Let me know and then we can look at what happens next and how the deposit is handled!


If there’s nothing in your contract to the contrary, then you can move out on the last day with no notice.

Hi Sam,
Yes unfortunately the lease does have this clause.

Does the the phonecall on the 1st of May have any weight on the matter? As the phonecall was a request for advice on what they need us to do upon moving out and there was no mention or reminder of the need for 2 months notice.


Hi Christa, I’ve just gone back through some content a legal expert wrote for us on this issue:

If the tenants move out at the end of the fixed term, the tenancy ends. It will no longer exist. This is under a rule quaintly known by lawyers as ‘effluxion of time’.

So, if the tenants have moved out by that date, then that is the end of it. The tenants no longer have any liability under the tenancy and the landlord no longer has any right to charge rent.

Landlords often get upset about this if the tenants have moved out without giving them any notice. Sometimes they may even put in their tenancy agreement a clause requiring the tenant to give notice if they want to leave at the end of the fixed term and providing for them to pay ‘rent in lieu of notice’ if they don’t.

Sadly (for the landlords) these clauses will almost certainly be void under the Unfair Contract Terms regulations (now part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015).

The tenant only signed up for a specific period of time. Any clause forcing him to stay longer or attempting to make him liable for continuing rent if he has moved out will be considered ‘unfair’ and unenforceable.

It’s may be worth you copying the clause from your contract here, but based on what Tessa says in her post, it sounds like you aren’t liable to pay any more rent.

If you say to the agent that any such clause is unenforceable, and quote the legislation then this might just scare them off. You can find the Act mentioned here:

If you’re unsure about any of this, it’s worth contact someone for legal advice. You can find free help here.

Hi Christa,

Apart from the legal issues mentions by Sam, I’d of thought that anybody with half a brain cell would realise that a student booking from September to June was clearly wanting accommodation just for term time. Unless expressly stating to the contrary I’d of thought it obvious you didn’t want to stay beyond the end of the tenancy.