Bringing a tenancy or a license to an end ( termination of the tenancy or licence ) requires that certain procedures are followed:
Most of our residential tenancies are the Assured Shorthold Tenancies where there is an initial fixed-term of say, 6 months or 12 months, followed either by a new agreement for another fixed-term, or in its absence a Statutory Periodic Tenancy.
A periodic tenancy automatically follows the fixed-term if the parties do nothing (i.e. they do not sign another agreement) and the tenancy will be on the same basis as the original agreement, with all the same clauses and conditions being operative.
The period of the tenancy will depend upon the rent payment schedule: if the rent was paid monthly under the original fixed term, this will become a monthly periodic tenancy or a weekly periodic tenancy if this was the payment schedule.
Tenants should realise that the fixed-term commitment is in fact a contract. They are committed to stay the full term, or, if they leave early, to pay the full fixed-term rent.
In some cases it may be possible to negotiate an early release from a tenancy but this is a matter for personal agreement between landlord and tenant.
Termination Notice by Tenant - Notice To Quit
Where the tenancy has become a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (where the fixed-term has ended and no new agreement signed for another fixed-term) the tenant must give the landlord notice if he wants to leave:
The notice period must end at the end of a tenancy payment period: for example, if the rent payment date is on the 20th of each month, the notice period must end on the 20th of the month or the 19th to be on the safe side.
The tenancy agreement cannot change these basic rules, 4 weeks being the minimum notice period. However, if the tenancy period is more than 4 weeks, for example, one month, then the notice period is one month.
Tenants needing to terminate and leave early from a fixed term tenancy may negotiate with their landlord to be released from their contract, but this is a matter for personal agreement between landlord and tenant.
Landlords may or may not oblige by attempting to re-let early if the tenant agrees to pay out of pocket expenses - these should be agreed in advance.