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Ending a Private Residential Tenancy

There is a process in place in order to end a private residential tenancy.

If your tenant wants to end the tenancy

Your tenant has to give you at least 28 days' notice in writing if they want to end the tenancy (unless they ask for shorter notice and you agree in writing).

The notice period will begin on the day you get the notice from your tenant, and ends 28 days after that date.

Your tenant can only give you notice to leave once he or she has started to live in the let property. Your tenant's notice has to be given 'freely and without coercion'. This means you must not have pressured or persuaded your tenant into leaving.

If your tenant gives you notice but then changes their mind before it ends, they can ask you to continue the tenancy instead. It's up to you to decide whether to agree.

To end a joint tenancy, all the joint tenants must agree to end the tenancy and sign the notice to leave. One joint tenant cannot terminate a joint tenancy on behalf of all the joint tenants.

If you want to end the tenancy

You can only end the tenancy by using one of the 18 grounds for eviction. If you decide you want to end the tenancy, you must serve your tenant a notice to leave document, which will tell them how long they have to move out.

When you give your tenant notice to leave, you must tell them what eviction ground you are using. You can also provide any evidence you have to support the ground.

To end a joint tenancy, you must serve notice to leave on all of the joint tenants.

Notice needed

The amount of notice you have to give your tenant will depend on how long they've lived in the property and the grounds you're using to evict them.

You must give at least 28 days' notice if they have lived in the property for six months or less, regardless of what eviction ground you are using.

Regardless of how long the tenant has lived in the property, you must give at least 28 days' notice if you are using one or more of the following eviction grounds:

  • tenant is no longer occupying the let property
  • tenant has breached a term(s) of tenancy agreement
  • tenant is in rent arrears over three consecutive months on the date you apply to the Tribunal for an eviction order
  • tenant has a relevant criminal conviction
  • tenant has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
  • tenant associates with a person who has a relevant conviction or has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour

You must give at least 84 days' notice if they have lived in the property for more than six months, and you aren't relying solely on any of the grounds listed above.

Sending notice by recorded delivery, post or email

If you send your tenant the notice to leave by recorded delivery post or email, you must allow your tenant 48 hours to receive it. This delivery time should be factored into the amount of notice you give your tenant.

Example case

If you're required to give your tenant 28 days' notice and you send the notice to leave by recorded delivery post on 23 January, your tenant will be expected to receive the notice on 25 January.

The 28 days' notice period will start on 25 January and end on 21 February.

If your tenant chooses not to leave the let property as soon as his or her notice period has expired, the earliest date that you can submit an application to the Tribunal for an eviction order is 22 February.

Getting an eviction order

If you give your tenant a notice to leave and they don't move out as soon as the notice period ends, you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for an eviction order.

When you apply for an eviction order you must give the First-tier Tribunal a copy of the 'notice to leave' you gave the tenant, stating which of the grounds for eviction you gave them.

You can only make an application for an eviction order if it's been no more than six months since the notice you gave your tenant expired.