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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Giving and receiving Notice to Quit

You have to let your landlord know if you want to move out of your rented home. The law says you do this in writing a certain amount of time before the date you move out. This written notice is called a "notice to quit". 

Landlords should also give tenants written notice to quit if they want a tenant to move out. 

Moving out when your contract ends

Your steps will depend on

  • if you have a tenancy agreement
  • if your tenancy agreement has already ended
  • what your tenancy agreement says about notice, and
  • how long you've lived in your rented home.

No tenancy agreement

Your tenancy lasts for 6 months unless you have agreed a longer or shorter period with your landlord.

You need to write to your landlord at least 28 days before the day you want to leave. You must give more notice if you have lived in the property for more than 10 years.

If you want to leave before the end of the 6 months, you will have to negotiate with your landlord.

Tenancy agreement is ending soon

You should write to your landlord at least a month before the contract is due to end to explain that you will be moving out.

Read your contract to find out how you should end your tenancy. Call our helpline if you are not sure what the contract means. 

In most cases you'll need to let your landlord know you are leaving

  • 4 weeks in advance of the date you're leaving if you've lived in the property for up to 10 years
  • 12 weeks in advance of the date you're leaving if you've lived in the property for more than 10 years

Your notice should end on the last day of a tenancy period. This is the day before you'd usually pay rent.

Tenancy agreement has already ended

Read your contract to find out how you should end your tenancy. Call our helpline if you are not sure what the contract means. 

In most cases you'll need to let your landlord know you are leaving

  • 4 weeks in advance of the date you're leaving if you've lived in the property for up to 10 years
  • 12 weeks in advance of the date you're leaving if you've lived in the property for more than 10 years

My tenancy agreement is not ending for a while

You will need to negotiate with your landlord to see if you can move out before the contract ends.  

Notice if you've been renting your home for a long time

Read your contract to find out how you should end your tenancy. Call our helpline if you are not sure what the contract means. 

In most cases you'll need to let your landlord know you are leaving

  • 4 weeks in advance of the date you're leaving if you've lived in the property for up to 10 years
  • 12 weeks in advance of the date you're leaving if you've lived in the property for more than 10 years

Your landlord has to give you

  • 4 weeks' notice if you've rented your home for less than a year
  • 8 weeks' notice if you've rented your home for between 1 and 10 years
  • 12 weeks' notice if you've rented your home for more than 10 years
  • 12 weeks' notice if they gave you notice between 4 May 2020 and 4 May 2022 

Tenancy run on if no notice given

Your landlord can say that the tenancy is still running if you did not give written notice. This means you are still responsible for paying rent. The landlord might keep your deposit or take you to court to get this rent. 

Getting notice to quit from your landlord

Contact our advisers if your landlord has asked you to leave your home. 

Our advisers will check if the landlord's notice is valid. They can give you advice on

Your landlord has to follow the proper legal process to evict you.

It is illegal for a landlord, or anyone working for the landlord, to

  • threaten you or force you to leave the property without a court order
  • change the locks on your rented home
  • cut off any services or supplies to the property
  • ask you to move out without at least 4 weeks' notice
  • remove you or your items from the property

Get advice immediately if your landlord tries any of this. 

Need help solving a problem?

You should always get advice if you are having problems with a tenancy. You can contact Housing Rights for advice on your rights. Housing Rights can also provide a mediation service if you and your landlord are having problems and need an independent person to help resolve these.