Understanding Your Tenancy Agreement

Your tenancy agreement is the foundation of your rental arrangement, outlining the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant. It is crucial to thoroughly review this document, as it specifies the required notice period for ending the tenancy.


Common Notice Periods

  • Fixed-term tenancy: If your tenancy has a fixed end date, the agreement typically outlines the notice period. However, it is worth noting that unless a break clause is included, you may not be able to terminate the tenancy early without incurring penalties.
  • Periodic tenancy: This type of tenancy rolls weekly or month-to-month after the initial fixed term has ended. In this case, the notice period is usually equivalent to one tenancy period (e.g., one month for a monthly periodic tenancy).

It is essential to be aware that your tenancy agreement may specify a longer notice period than the statutory minimum. Therefore, it is necessary to familiarise yourself with the terms of your contract to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes.


Fixed-Term Tenancies

A fixed-term tenancy is a rental agreement with a predetermined start and end date. It provides both landlord and tenant with a clear timeframe for the tenancy, and each party can only terminate the agreement early with the other’s consent or a specific break clause in the contract.

In a fixed-term tenancy, if a tenant does not intend to renew the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, they usually need to notify the landlord. The tenancy agreement typically specifies the required notice period, but the statutory minimum notice a tenant must give is one month.

However, landlords generally must give tenants two months’ notice if they do not intend to renew the tenancy at the end of the fixed term. This is in line with the statutory requirements of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), the most common type of tenancy in the UK.


Periodic Tenancies

A periodic tenancy, often called a rolling tenancy, is a rental agreement that continues indefinitely after the initial fixed term has ended. Unlike a fixed-term tenancy with a predetermined end date, a periodic tenancy renews automatically at the end of each rental period (e.g., monthly or weekly).

The notice period required to end a periodic tenancy is typically determined by the length of the rental payment period. If you pay rent monthly, you will usually need to provide one month’s notice, even if you’re in a weekly tenancy, you would also be required to provide one month’s notice. However, any periodic tenancies longer than one month matches the frequency. For example, quarterly rent would require 3 month’s notice, 6 monthly rent would require 6 month’s notice etc.

Typical Notice Periods:

  • 6 Month Periodic tenancy: Six month’s notice.
  • 3 Month Periodic tenancy: Three month’s notice.
  • Monthly periodic tenancy: One month’s notice.
  • Weekly periodic tenancy: One month’s notice.

It is important to note that the specific notice period for your tenancy should be outlined in your tenancy agreement. Refer to this document for accurate information, as your agreement may stipulate a longer notice period than the statutory minimum.

Legal Requirements and Regulations

In the UK, legal requirements regarding notice periods can vary depending on the tenancy agreement. However, there are general guidelines all tenants should be aware of.


Key Legal Requirements

  • Statutory minimum notice: Tenants on periodic tenancies must typically provide at least one month’s notice, even if the tenancy agreement specifies a shorter period.
  • Written notice: It is always recommended to provide written notice, even if your landlord accepts verbal notice.
  • Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs): Most tenancies in the UK are ASTs, which typically have additional legal requirements regarding notice and eviction.


Additional Considerations

  • Joint tenancies: Each tenant must typically provide their own separate notice.
  • Break clauses: Some tenancy agreements may include break clauses, allowing early termination under specific conditions.

For personalised advice regarding your notice period, it is always recommended to seek professional legal counsel.

How to Give Notice

Properly notifying your landlord of your intention to vacate is crucial in the moving-out process. Here is how to do it effectively:


Step-by-Step Guide

  • Check Your Tenancy Agreement: Review your agreement to confirm the required notice period and any specific instructions for giving notice.
  • Write a Formal Notice Letter: Use the template provided to draft your notice. Ensure all details are accurate and precise.
  • Deliver the Notice: Send the notice via recorded delivery (for a paper trail) or email (for digital proof of delivery).


Formal Notice Letter Template


[Your Name]

[Your Address]



[Landlord’s Name/Letting Agent’s Name]

[Landlord/Agent’s Address]


Re: Notice to Vacate


Dear [Landlord/Agent’s Name],


I am writing to formally notify you of my intention to vacate the property at [Property Address] on [Intended Move-Out Date].


This notice is given in accordance with the terms of my tenancy agreement, which requires [Notice Period] notice.


Please acknowledge receipt of this notice and confirm that you have received it.


Thank you for your cooperation.


Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Printed Name]

[Your Contact Information]

Tips for a Smooth Move-Out Process

Make your moving out as easy as possible by following these tips to ensure a positive experience and increase your chances of getting your deposit back in full.

  • Schedule a Move-Out Inspection: Arrange an inspection with your landlord or letting agent to address any concerns beforehand.
  • Thorough Cleaning: Clean the property meticulously, as clean as when you moved in.
  • Repairs and Maintenance: Address any minor repairs yourself to prevent deposit deductions.
  • Inventory Check: Review the inventory checklist and ensure all items are accounted for.
  • Utilities and Council Tax: Inform relevant parties of your move-out date.
  • Forwarding Address: Provide your landlord with a forwarding address for deposit returns and correspondence.

Communicating with Your Landlord

Maintaining open communication with your landlord is crucial throughout the notice period. This ensures a smooth transition and minimises misunderstandings.



  • Move-Out Inspection: Schedule a time that works for both of you.
  • Specific Requirements: Clarify any expectations regarding cleaning, repairs, etc.
  • Deposit Return: Understand the process and timeline for getting your deposit back.

By building a positive relationship with your landlord through open communication, you can make the move-out process as seamless as possible.


Consequences of Not Giving Proper Notice

Failing to provide your landlord with the required notice can have negative consequences. These include potential deposit deductions for lost rent, legal action for breach of contract, and a damaged reputation that makes securing future tenancies difficult.

On the other hand, adhering to the notice period delivers a smooth transition for both parties. This benefits you by ensuring a positive reference, the return of your full deposit, and helping maintain a good relationship with your landlord. Always prioritise open communication with your landlord and respect the terms of your tenancy agreement to avoid unnecessary complications.



In conclusion, understanding and adhering to the appropriate notice period when ending a tenancy is crucial for landlords and UK tenants. The specific notice required depends on your tenancy type and the terms of your agreement, so it is essential to review your contract carefully.

By prioritising open communication, giving proper written notice, and fulfilling your obligations as a tenant, you can ensure a smooth transition and maintain a positive relationship with your landlord. This makes the moving out process less stressful and paves the way for positive references and the successful securing of future tenancies.