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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Ending a private tenancy

There are certain steps you need to take to end your tenancy. It can be difficult to get out of a tenancy before the expiry date, even if you have a valid reason for wanting out.  

You can’t simply decide to leave a property and move out immediately. By law, you have to give your landlord a fixed period of written notice informing him or her of your intention to quit the property. This is known as a Notice to Quit. Your landlord also has to provide you with notice if he or she wants you to move out.

You will usually have a joint tenancy if someone else's name is on the tenancy agreement as well as your own. This might be one other person or a number of people. Joint tenants have exactly the same rights and responsibilities as each other.

There are many reasons why you may want to leave a tenancy early. However, unless there is a clause allowing you to do so in your tenancy agreement, it can be difficult to leave once you’ve signed a rental contract.

Moving home is stressful. Once you’ve given your landlord Notice to Quit, you should start planning your move. You need to think about disconnecting your utilities and finding alternative accommodation.

Most tenants pay a security deposit when they move into a property. This is the tenant's money and should be returned at the end of the tenancy unless the tenant owes the landlord money. The deposit should be returned in full unless the landlord has suffered a genuine financial loss as a result of your actions. If your landlord has unfairly kept some of your deposit you should try to get this money back.

Your landlord must follow the correct legal process in order to evict you. If you have a fixed term agreement, your landlord will have to have a reason to evict you. However, if you're a periodic tenant your landlord simply has to follow the correct legal process.