How much notice do I have to give?

V Henry asks:
(updated on Wednesday, December 02nd 2009)

I am locked into a fixed term tenancy which expires in a few months. The agent wrote down that after the expiry date, the tenancy is to roll over into a periodic tenancy. The problem I have is that I have recently purchased a house and don't want to stay in it after the end date of the fixed tenancy. Can I leave on the end date of the fixed term, or do I have to give 3 weeks notice to terminate after the end date?

Our Experts Answer:

Where a tenant and landlord have agreed on a periodic tenancy, including where this is to start immediately after a fixed term tenancy ends, either party must give notice if they wish to end the periodic tenancy. This notice can be given at any time, including before the periodic tenancy starts and before the fixed term tenancy ends. If you give notice of your intention to vacate at least 21 days before the fixed term ends, the periodic tenancy will not start.

Notice must be given in writing. You should keep a copy for yourself, and you must allow time for serving the notice on your landlord. If you hand the letter to your landlord, the notice period will start immediately. However, if you drop it in your landlord’s letterbox you must allow an extra two working days, and if you post it to your landlord you must allow four working days.

To discuss your situation further, or for advice and information about fixed term tenancies reverting to periodic tenancies, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.



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