Ending your tenancy

Your tenancy doesn’t automatically end when you move out – here is what you need to do.

Your tenancy is a legal agreement and can be ended only if you give us proper notice, or through a court order. Before you decide to leave your home, contact us to discuss all your options.

If you’re moving out of your home you must give us at least 28 days’ notice or a full calendar month, depending on the type of tenancy you have. If you don’t do this, you’ll still responsible for the rent after you leave until this notice period has finished. If there are special circumstances that stop you giving us the required notice, please contact us.

How to end your tenancy

The letter or form must be signed by each person who signed the original tenancy agreement, unless they’ve already left the household. If you have a lodger or sub-tenant, you must make sure they leave the property as you can’t pass on your tenancy. If you leave anyone in the property, we will evict them.

Once your notice is received

We’ll visit you within 14 days of receiving the notice. A member of staff will inspect your property, note any repairs needed and tell you what you must do before you leave. If you move out before the end of your notice period, we’ll still charge you for the full rent up to the date your tenancy ends. If you receive housing benefits, this will stop when you leave and you will be personally liable for any further payments due to us.

Improvements or alterations to your property

Please make sure any damaged or missing fixtures and fittings are replaced, and that the property is reasonably well decorated, before you leave.

If you’ve improved your home and got our written permission before you did the work, you may be able to claim compensation. Contact us to find out more. If you alter your home without our permission, we may charge you for putting it back to its original condition or for repairing any damage you have caused.

Rent arrears

You must clear your rent account before you move out. In exceptional cases where this is impossible, we must arrange for you to continue paying the debt after you have moved. If you move without clearing the debt, we’ll take legal action to claim back the money you owe. If we are successful, this can affect your credit rating, ability to take out a loan or be housed in the future.

Handing in your keys

Please take all your keys, electrical supply key and gas card (if you have these) to your local office by midday on the Monday after the last day of your tenancy. If you return the keys late, we’ll charge you another weeks’ rent. Please contact us if you need to make a special arrangement. Never leave the keys in the property.

If you can’t hand in the keys yourself, please ask someone else to do it for you. You must give them a signed letter saying that they have permission to hand in your keys. You must also have completed a Notice of Termination of Tenancy Form or a Surrender of Tenancy form. If they don’t have a letter with them, we’ll ask them to write and sign a letter on your behalf.

If you leave without notice, we may decide you have abandoned the property and take legal steps to repossess it. Until the court grants us possession, you will be responsible for the rent and any other charges. If you intend to go away for a long time please contact us to let us know.

Joint tenants

If you’re a joint tenant and one of you ends the tenancy, the whole tenancy ends. By law, we don’t have to allow the other tenant to stay. If a joint tenant dies or a couple splits up, we have different procedures. Contact us for guidance.

Bereaved relatives

If you’re the next of kin or executor of a tenant who has died, contact us for guidance on how to end the tenancy. Please give us a copy of the death certificate. If you aren’t the next of kin, please give us details of the next of kin or executor.

Housing benefits stop on the date of the tenant’s death, and any rent due must be paid from any money they have left until we get the keys back. We will also serve a ‘Notice to Quit’ on the executor or next of kin, giving a date by which we need the property to be emptied.

You may be able to take over the tenancy after a death if you are:

  • a partner who was living with the tenant as your main home when they died
  • a family member of the tenant who has died and lived at the property for the previous 12 months

We may consider other situations where there is no legal right to succeed to the tenancy. Any claim to succeed to the tenancy must be made within a month of the tenant’s death. The tenancy can be succeeded to only once. Contact us for help.

End-of-tenancy checklist

Before you move out please:

  • arrange removals
  • contact the Post Office about redirecting your mail
  • remove all your belongings from your home, including from the loft, garden, garage and sheds
  • clear all floor coverings that we didn’t supply, and white goods such as fridges, freezers and washing machines
  • leave the property and the garden (if you have one) clean and tidy
  • complete any repairs that you are responsible for and report any repairs that we must do
  • tell the council tax department, and any relevant benefits departments, your new address
  • tell us which companies supply the gas and electricity to your property
  • if you have a key for electricity or a card for gas, please hand them in to the local office when you bring the keys (by midday on the Monday after the last day of your tenancy)
  • tell your doctor and children’s school if you are moving away from the local area