Regardless of your circumstances, you feel that now is the right time to end your current tenancy and move elsewhere. Whether it’s for a new job, to accommodate a new arrival or just because you’ve seen a new place come up for rent, there’s a rollercoaster of emotions you may end up riding when your current tenancy is coming to an end.
Feelings of sadness, excitement, trepidation and more besides are bound to come up, but when you’re ending a tenancy, what actually happens? This blog post will have all the answers to this question in a way will help to put your mind at ease.
Fixed term tenancies
Most tenancies last for at least six months, with some lasting longer depending on the length of a new contract. Towards the end of a fixed term tenancy, you’ll be given the option of either renewing or ending it. If you choose to end it, then you’ll receive a notice period from your letting agent or landlord, usually being at least a month long.
Some tenancies can go from being fixed term to month-to-month. If this happens to you, it’s possible to end it sooner. You will have a notice period of a month, just to give you enough time to pack, clean up and do an inventory.
Check your post
Once your tenancy is approaching its conclusion, you’ll receive a letter from your landlord or letting agent. This will tell you the following:
- That they have received your notice telling them that you’re leaving their property
- The moving out date
- The notice period given
It will usually come within a few working days of you telling them that you’re leaving. However, if it’s the landlord’s/agency’s decision to end the tenancy, they’ll send you a different letter. It will state the reason for your tenancy coming to an end e.g. being unable to pay rent or the landlord selling the property, as well as a notice period for leaving and a moving out date.
The above scenarios are only played out if you want to move elsewhere or if the landlord wants to move you on. Otherwise, you’ll either be given a new contract to sign or a ‘rolling tenancy’, where you live in the property on a month-to-month basis.
Check your tenancy agreement
To check what you need to do before your tenancy expires, it’s of great importance that you read through your tenancy agreement. This is the contract you’ll have signed before moving into your current home. It will likely have a section on what to do when the tenancy ends.
Find this section and follow it from top to bottom. It should have information on such things as:
- The procedure for moving out
- What you need to do e.g. keeping the flat in mint condition
- What you must do on moving out day
Receiving your deposit
On the day that your tenancy ends and you’re ready to move out for good, you should receive your deposit back from the letting agency or landlord. If, however, the home hasn’t been left spotless and some repairs need to be made, at least some of that deposit will be kept in order to fund the costs arising from them.
Your deposit should be paid back into your account but, if that isn’t possible, you should receive a cheque in the post. To maximise your chances of getting your deposit back, be around for the inventory to explain any repairs that need to be made and see if anything will need fixing on moving out.
You will be asked to pay for the final month of your tenancy in full, even if you’re leaving sooner. After that, you should be able to stop payments going through to the letting agency or landlord by going to your bank and asking them to end the Direct Debit.
This is a pretty easy thing to do, but should only be arranged once you’ve fully moved out and the tenancy contract has ended. Ideally, you should cancel your Direct Debit on the next working day after moving out, just to avoid paying another month’s rent without noticing.