McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

Ending a Tenancy Agreement - A Landlord's Perspective

All landlords hope for a good relationship with their tenants, but for one reason or another, this can't always be possible. You may, therefore, want your tenants to leave your property early. However, to do this you will have to give your tenants the correct notice and provide them with all of the required information.

At McHale & Co, we know all too well the trouble landlords go through trying to remove people from their property whom they simply don't want there anymore. This can be for any number of reasons, but some of the more common we see relate to tenants falling behind on their rent and people not looking after the property by failing to clean and tidy up properly. Being a landlord can be a great way to bring in some extra money, but it can also be the cause of unnecessary strain and stress. By leaving the matter with an experienced law firm, you can ensure the whole process becomes as worry-free as possible.

What is a tenancy agreement?

This is an agreement between you and your tenant that lays out the rights of each party. It can be written or oral, and is comprised of the various arrangements you have made with your tenants before they move in. Because both parties share these rights and responsibilities, bringing a tenancy agreement to an end can be tricky, which is why seeking expert legal advice is recommended.

Assured shorthold tenancies

While some tenancies can be complex to bring to an end, others can be more straightforward. For example, in some instances you may even be able to remove your tenant without providing any reason why. For this to happen, a number of conditions must be met. These are:

  • Your tenant has received at least two months' written notice and a date they must leave by. This is known as a 'notice to quit'
  • A deposit protection scheme is in place
  • The date you are asking them to leave must be at least six months after the start of the original tenancy

The final requirement is that the tenancy is a periodic tenancy. If not, and the tenancy is fixed-term, the matter becomes a little more complicated. However, you can still ask your tenant to leave if you're in the fixed term provided you have a reason that is included in the Housing Act 1988.

Such reasons may include:

  • You wish to move back into the property yourself
  • Your tenants have fallen into arrears
  • Your tenants have been using the property for illegal purposes

Section 21 Notice to Quit

One aspect of tenancy notices that our clients often ask us about is the Section 21 Notice to Quit. This is so called because it is explained in Section 21 of the aforementioned Housing Act 1988. It refers to the notice a landlord gives to a tenant in order to take back possession of an assured shorthold tenancy. Should the tenancy be periodic as a result of fixed term ending, a landlord can serve up a Section 21 Notice to Quit with a minimum of two months' notice, with the day the notice expires being the last day of a period of the tenancy. 

Assured tenancies

As with the above, you will only be able to remove a tenant signed up to an assured tenancy by providing one of the reasons outlined in the Housing Act 1988. An assured tenancy can be contrasted to a tenancy beyond seven years and affords a degree of security of tenure to the tenant. However, the majority of new residential tenancies are deemed to be assured shorthold tenancies, and so ending this type of agreement is less common.

Seek expert help

As is evident, cutting short a tenancy can be a complicated matter for a landlord. What's more, any landlord wishing to remove a tenant will undoubtedly hope to do so sooner rather than later. Therefore, the process will ideally be as quick and hassle-free as possible. Due to the complex nature of this area of law, it is recommended you seek legal help to give you the very best chance of getting the outcome you want in both a speedy and efficient manner. 

Categories: General

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