OpenRent Community

Leaving at the end

Hey all,

Looking for advice on our tenancy end situation as it seems we have a disagreement with the property manager. He’s saying we have to give a months notice after the end date, which we are still liable for rent but this doesnt make any sense because its not in the contract.

Below outlines the exact wordings of the tenancy agreement terms:
"ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY AGREEMENT

The term of the tenancy A TERM OF 12 Months
BEGINNING ON: 10th of December 2018
ENDING ON: 9th of December 2019"

There are no further clauses in the document which mentions any sort of notice, except in the case of the break clause.

I’ve been in contact with the property manager to give him the heads up that we have decided to move out on or before the last day being the 9th.

My words to him:
“In accordance with my tenancy agreement, I’m letting you know that all tenants will be leaving on or before the 9th of December 2019.”

And his exact response:
" You are welcome to leave on the 9th, but as I have explained to you over the phone, you still need to give 1 months notice to terminate the tenancy agreement. When you signed into the tenancy, there was a fixed minimum term, which does ends on the 9th of December, this does not mean that your tenancy just automatically ends.

I can confirm that we have accepted your notice dated the 29th November 2019 and with your 1 months’ notice now in place to terminate the tenancy, which will run and terminate on 9th January 2020."

This feels very contradictory to any advice I’ve found when it comes to leaving on the last day. We are becoming increasingly nervous about this situation. Can someone please help me to understand what is exactly happening here?

Cheers,

Alex

one months notice is one month before the end of your tenancy

An assured shorthold tenancy becomes automatically periodic if the tenants do not leave at the end of the fixed term. As soon as it is periodic, you need to give one month’s notice if you want to terminate it, and this is what the property manager is referring to. Technically, the tenancy DOES automatically end if you leave on 9 December. If you do not, then it does not automatically end. Landlords don’t like this rule and frequently try to make tenants believe that they still have to give one month’s notice.

The law is on your side, but it’s not completely undisputed. In many cases landlords actually do get away with one additional month’s rent, either because of the ignorance of the tenant or because the tenant does not like to argue. Still, leaving on the 9th of December is completely within your right, and, to be fair, they wouldn’t have found another tenant who would have wanted to move in before Christmas even if you had given notice 3 years in advance.

Hi. I find it a bit bizarre that there’s no mention of any notice period in your tenancy agreement.

Hi @Alex27,

Bastian has summed up the answer here.

If you move out and stop paying rent by the 9th December, then the tenancy will be terminated.

Sam

you can leave on the day of the end of the tenancy without notice which seems a bit unfair on the landlord. just let them know in writing you will be leaving for good order and get the council to tell him whats what - they love doing that. maybe leave one day early and make sure you dont leave stuff behind as you dont want to go over the time period else you will be tied in for another month. take pix when you leave of everything. basically other responses here have been correct

There was, just on the break clause. If this makes any difference?

"J. SPECIAL TERMS FOR THE TENANCY
NOTE: the following clauses have been selected or written by the creator of this agreement and have not been written
under the Plain English Campaign Crystal Mark.
We and you agree to the following:

  1. Tenant break clause
    The total term certain of the Tenancy is a contractual requirement upon the Tenant(s). The Tenant is
    contractually required to pay the rent for the whole duration of the term certain.
    The Tenant may terminate their tenancy at any time from the end of the initial six month period of the contract by
    giving two months notice in writing; (email is sufficient). This period of notice must expire on a rent day, for the
    avoidance of doubt this is to be the 1st day of each and every month. Therefore the earliest opportunity to serve
    two months notice would be the first day of the sixth month, to terminate on the last day of the eighth month.
    Failure to give this written notice will result in the Tenant being liable for a further two months rent until they do
    serve the contractually bound notice.
    Should the Tenant wish to break their contract before the expiry date, they must take full responsibility for re-letting
    their room/flat/house, including all advertising costs. Any such action would deem the contract as being renewed
    and therefore subject to a rental increase. The Landlord must approve the new tenant before the new tenant
    moves into the property."

Tenants do not need to give notice to end on the natural end date of the Tenancy unless they have already signed up
to a renewal or new term

Alex27 - having been an agent for 15 years and a Landlord for 5 this is one of the worst worded break clauses I have ever seen. The break clause is irrelevant if you are leaving on the end date of the Tenancy anyway (unless you have already signed a renewal/extension). Do not pay the additional months rent.

Really appreciate the response from all. Unfortunately, as this is a joint contract one member of the group has decided to rely on the landlords words rather than the law (even though he’s not even on the tenancy). Better yet he’s decided he’s not going to pay that month’s rent but rather depend on the extra month coming from the deposit. Which is obviously my deposit. (Any advice on this, I again would love)

And just for further entertainment, we had requested explicit direction on the contract as to where these extra clauses were and the response was…
"There is no clause, or is it written in the tenancy agreement stating you are free to leave at the completion of your fixed term. We do reserve the right to insist up two months notice, which you had agreed to as apart of your tenancy agreement be we are relaxing that as you are keen to move on to 1 month, which is at our discretion.

You are free to consult a solicitor or got the citizens advise bureau to get further advice, but at this time, we see no reason to be more accommodating than what we are, so you can see above or check over our original tenancy agreement, we do require two months notice to terminate the tenancy."

He’s referring to the break clause I put up earlier on