How Much Notice Should You Give a Tenant to End a Tenancy in the UK?

Giving notice to end tenancy

If you’re a landlord, it’s essential to learn the law on terminating tenancies in the UK. It’s critical to understand the current legislation for giving notice for eviction if you want your renter to leave your UK property. Read on to find out what’s permitted when it comes to how much notice you should give a tenant to end a tenancy.

Remember to consult the gov.uk website to stay up to date on any new legislation, as this is liable to change following the covid-19 pandemic. 

As of the 1st of October 2021, all notice periods for landlords and tenants have returned to pre-pandemic levels. This means that, according to the government, ‘The minimum period of notice which must be given under section 21 is two months and, where a section 8 notice is relied upon, the minimum notice period will depend on the ground(s) on which possession is sought.’  

This means the times will vary for each specific case, but for a situation without grounds for eviction will require 2 months of notice. To give an eviction order, the notice periods will differ. 

Tenant returning property keys after landlord has given notice to end tenancy

Ending a tenancy 

It’s never ideal, but you may find yourself wanting to end a tenancy either due to your tenant’s behaviour or just needing the property for your own purposes. If you are not sure how to evict a tenant, there are procedures you should be aware of. The tenant needs to be issued the correct warning within the right timeframe for the action to be legal.  

Here’s how to go about it. 

How much notice do you need to give tenant to end a tenancy in the UK?

A calculator, property keys and eviction notice paper on a desk of a landlord who is calculating how much notice to give tenant

To regain possession of a rental property, you must give your tenant a written notice that includes a date by which they must leave. This will vary depending on the individual circumstances of your agreed tenancy, however, it’s usually at least 4 weeks. 

Free ebook: Landlord’s Guide for Tenant Evictions – Download Now

Assured shorthold tenancies 

ASTs (or assured shorthold tenancies) are the most common type of tenancy in England. By serving a Section 21 notice – sometimes referred to as a no-fault eviction – you can currently take back your property without giving a reason if your tenant has signed an AST. 

You can do this when:

  • It has been at least six months since they signed the original tenancy agreement when they moved in 
  • It is a periodic or rolling tenancy 
  • Your tenant will leave the property after the fixed term of their tenancy agreement has ended 

For a Section 21 notice to be applied, it’s essential that your tenants’ deposit has been protected with a deposit protection scheme

Ending a fixed term tenancy 

Your tenant may be asked to leave at any time during their tenure. This can be done by serving Section 8 notice if the terms of their lease have been broken. Examples of which include failing to pay rent or using the property illegally. If the reason for eviction is based on anti-social behaviour or domestic violence, the notice period may be shorter. The government website provides more information about reasons for seeking possession for a property leased under an AST. 

Break clauses 

In most tenancy agreements, a break clause means you can give your tenant notice after a certain period of time has passed. During the first six months of the tenancy agreement, however, you are still not guaranteed possession of the property. 

Excluded tenancies or licences 

An excluded tenancy or license is a rental agreement that you have with someone who lives in your property with you and shares some of your rooms, such as the living room or kitchen. To terminate the lease, you must provide your lodger with ‘reasonable notice’. If you collect rent monthly, you’ll need to give one month’s notice. It is important to note that for an excluded tenancy or license, you do not have to go to court for an eviction.  

What to do if your tenant refuses to leave the property 

If notice period has expired and your tenant has not left the property, you will have to turn to the courts to effectively evict them. Evicting them yourself isn’t possible; you cannot change the locks or remove their belongings, for instance. Doing so would be illegal eviction, which would put you on the wrong side of the law and make it more challenging to evict the tenants legally. 

Is there a faster way to evict a tenant? 

Since there are various reasons for evicting someone and each has its own requirements, it’s hard to determine how long it takes to evict a tenant.

For quicker results, you can apply for an accelerated possession order, as described below. Otherwise, you can apply to transfer the case to the High Court, thereby avoiding having to wait for a County Court Bailiff. Once that is done, an Enforcement Officer of the High Court will be able to handle the eviction on your behalf. 

Accelerated Possession Orders 

One way to cut down the time it can take to evict a tenant is to use an accelerated possession. However, this doesn’t apply to every situation. 

If you have a termination notice under Section 21 with no rent arrears, you can use the accelerated procedure. This allows you to avoid the requirement for a court hearing. However, a court fee will still be charged.  If you want to make a claim for possession of the property, you should use the N5B form (accelerated procedure). 

Not sure how much notice to give tenant? Get the right professional help 

Able Investigations can help you with your tenant issues with efficiency and professionalism. 

In addition to assisting clients in the eviction process, Able Investigations has High Court Enforcement Officers on staff that help handle court orders. We are experts in tenant evictions and have helped clients from across the country.  As a result, you can be certain the eviction will proceed legally and correctly. We ensure all paperwork is completed so there is a paper trail to verify everything has been done properly. 

If you need support or advice with commercial or residential tenant eviction services, please contact us today to learn more. 

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