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Notice period at the end of a tenancy

(13 Posts)
PlasticLentilWeaver Thu 04-Apr-13 16:30:04


Hoping someone here can advise on this.

We are currently living in a rented house, but in the middle of buying our own house. AST ends mid-May.

I have just been told that it looks as if completion could be the exact same day as the end of our AST. However, this was not clear at the two month notice point required by our AST so we persuaded our landlord/agent to allow us to move to a periodic agreement, thinking that mid-June would be more likely.

I now don't know what to do as far as notice period is concerned.

Am I correct in thinking that you are legally allowed to quit a property at the end of a fixed tenancy period without formally giving notice? I don't want to do this to the landlord if I can avoid it as he has been quite fair with us, but what is the legal requirement if, as a tenant, you discover that you do want to move at the end of an AST, but didn't realise until late in the tenancy? Do we give him a month's notice?

We could afford a few days overlap between the rental and mortgage, but not a whole month if completion is as early as mid-May.


pettyprudence Thu 04-Apr-13 16:34:22

no notice is required from the tenant if terminating at end of ast. after the fixed term has ended you will need to give one months notice to expire before a rent due date (ie you can't just give notice in the middle of a month)

PlasticLentilWeaver Thu 04-Apr-13 16:41:17

So, if over the next couple of weeks it is confirmed that completion will be the same day as end of AST, we could give him one month (to be fair to him) and that would be legally correct?
But, similarly, if it is not confimed until after April rent due date, we would still be within our legal rights to leave at the end of the AST? (And could let him know at the earliest opportunity, but obviously less than a month).

EllieArroway Thu 04-Apr-13 18:47:19

You can walk straight out of the property without even mentioning it to your LL legally on the day your AST ends. He, of course, would still have had to give you notice if he wanted you out on the same day.

It would be nice, of course, not to mention fair if you could give him some notice and perhaps the opportunity to show the property to potential new tenants, but legally you'd don't have to do either.

Be careful of your dates, though - just one minute past midnight into the next day would take you into a periodic tenancy, and you'd have to give a months notice.

If, for example, an AST for one year that begins 1st May would end 30th April the following year, not 1st May.

PlasticLentilWeaver Thu 04-Apr-13 18:56:18

Thanks! Seems daft in some ways, as I am also a LL myself, but all my tenants have always renewed their AST, so never had to explore this eventuality.

I have every intention of giving him as much notice as possible, but wanted to make sure I understood the legal side in case he kicks off about it only being a couple of weeks.

EllieArroway Thu 04-Apr-13 18:59:59

No problem.

I think people are always shocked that in this situation the T doesn't have to give notice but the LL does. It gets queried a lot on these threads, but when you think about it, the T is just ending an agreement while the LL is taking away a home, so there's a reason for the seemingly unfair rule.

Anyway - good luck with the move. smile

evansthebread Thu 04-Apr-13 19:11:47

Got to agree with Ellie. Tenants are losing a home. Just try to be fair with your LL. When I was renting and wasn't sure when I was due to leave, I gave 30 days notice, and paid it, even though I wasn't living there for the last few weeks (my ex-LL was good, though).

cumfy Sat 06-Apr-13 13:20:37

Best to refer to the contract.

Some have a "rolling" clause in which if neither party give notice to the other within some period of AST then the contract rolls on or repeats, meaning that both parties are obliged to give explicit notice irrespective of the AST.

However, given your circs I'm sure they'd understand.

EllieArroway Sat 06-Apr-13 14:14:04

Some have a "rolling" clause in which if neither party give notice to the other within some period of AST then the contract rolls on or repeats, meaning that both parties are obliged to give explicit notice irrespective of the AST

Well, this isn't true. Any TA that had a clause saying that the T had to give notice within the life of the AST would not be enforceable in law. All ASTs automatically becoming periodic if the T remains beyond the end date.

cumfy Sat 06-Apr-13 20:41:03

And conversely the LL can enforce contract end without notice at the end date ?

I am curious, because both my current and last tenancy have these periods clearly defined for both parties.

It seems logical since it ensures everyone knows where they stand 30 or 60 days prior to tenancy end. No need to wait for a reply to correspondence or hang on till the end date .... on the tenancy goes.

Perhaps it's just Scotland ?

EllieArroway Sat 06-Apr-13 21:09:05

The rules may well be different in Scotland, cumfy. Here (in England), a T may walk out of a property on the last day of the AST without a by your leave. The LL would need to give two months notice previously if he wanted the T out on the same date.

I know that things are quite different in Scotland - and Wales too, I think. So we may both be right.

EllieArroway Sat 06-Apr-13 21:10:05

Quite arrogant of me to assume that everyone's in England, isn't it blush. Sorry.

PlasticLentilWeaver Sat 06-Apr-13 21:19:44

Thanks again. I am in England, so Scottish variations aren't directly relevant for my situation.

As it turns out, DH spoke to the letting agent and now feels morally obliged to pay until mid-June regardless of of we manage to complete before end of AST. I think it's bonkers to pay another month of rent unnecessarily, but there you are!

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