Both parties, both landlords and tenants want nothing more than a smooth end to the tenancy. However, these situations can often turn awkward and even hostile if not handled properly. For this reason, we have come up with five tips to help you both end things well.
All tenancy agreements should firmly state the notice period that needs to be given. If the tenant decides to leave the property outside of the agreement, they should give at least one months notice. However, for any tenant wanting to leave the property inside of the agreement, they legally do not need to give any notice but still remain responsible for paying their rent until the last day of your agreement. It may be worth sending your tenants a reminder letter or email in advance, so they know their options and can let you know whether or not they plan to stay, within plenty of time.
The last thing you want to happen is for your tenants to leave and for you to come into the property and find it in horrific condition. For this reason, once your tenant has told you that they are leaving, you should send them a list of everything that needs to be done, in order for them to receive their full deposit back. For example, the list could include painting over any marks made, cleaning the floors and windows or removing all rubbish. Although it may seem obvious, it will provide clarity for your tenants and is less likely to end on a dull note.
Whether it’s yourself carrying out viewings, or a third party lettings agent, you will be expected to give your current tenants 24 hours notice. However, as your tenants have a right to quiet enjoyment in the property, they could potentially refuse you entry. For this reason, it’s important to maintain a good relationship with your tenants, so that you can quickly re-let the property to new tenants.
Once the tenancy comes to an end, you will need to visit the property to check that everything is clean, tidy and ready for the new tenant. You may want the current tenant present so that you can both take note of any damages etc that need to be accounted for and signed for. As well as taking photos of the property, you will also need to check meter readings and get a statement from utility providers with a zero balance.
Once everything is in order, you will need to return the deposit to your tenant in as little time as possible. If the tenant decides to send you a written request of the deposit, you will have ten days to respond to them. Additionally, if you intend to keep part of the deposit as a result of damages etc, you will need to inform and reason this with your tenants, so as to avoid any disputing further down the line.