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Notice to Quit by Tenant

This is our second post on notice periods. Our first blog can be read here.

When a tenant’s tenancy becomes a statutory periodic tenancy, they must give their landlord a notice to quit when they want to vacate the property. The notice does not have to be in any particular form but it must be in writing, state the date on which the tenancy is to end, and it must be given at least four weeks before that date. This date can be the last day of the period or the first day of the period.

Period’s notice

The tenant’s notice must give a month’s notice for a monthly tenancy, a quarter’s notice for a quarterly tenancy and six months’ notice for a yearly tenancy. If for any reason the notice period is incorrect, then the landlord may waive the notice requirement and accept the notice as valid if they wish.

Joint tenants

Where the tenancy is held by two or more tenants a notice to quit can be served by only one of the tenants, unless the tenancy agreement requires the notice to be served by all the tenants. Failure by the tenant serving the notice to consult the other tenants does not invalidate the notice. Where the tenancy agreement requires all the tenants to serve a notice but the landlord only receives it from one tenant, prior to rejecting it, the landlord should enquire whether the other tenants authorised its service. If the other tenants authorised the notice to be served by one tenant then it is not invalid, rather it has been served by one tenant as agent for all the tenants. Rather interestingly, if a notice is served pursuant to a break clause, that is during the fixed term, the notice must be served by all the tenants to be valid.

Service

Finally, the notice should be served pursuant to the service clause in the original fixed term tenancy. If for any reason there is no service clause in the tenancy then the notice should be served pursuant to s196 of the Law of Property Act 1925.

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