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How much notice to leave should I give my landlord

Question...

I have been renting a property for the last two years and I am presently in a rollover tenancy, my initial tenancy was for six months. I pay my rent on the 15th of each month. I recently  gave my landlord a month's notice on the 25th April to move out on the 25th May, however, I have been told that it should be given on my rent due date of the 15th and I must also give two months' notice. I really need to move out, is this correct?

Answer...

Once a fixed period Assured Shorthold Tenancy rolls over, past it's fixed term period, then the tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy, and if the rent is paid monthly, then EACH month becomes a statutory periodic tenancy, the same legislated for under the Housing Act 1988.

The Housing Act clearly states the landlord must give the tenant two months written notice (normally by Section 21, this is different to the Section 21 Notice during a fixed term), however, a tenant can give notice by way of the same way they pay rent. Therefore, as you pay monthly, you only need to give a month's notice, in writing.

The dates are important and this is where your landlord is correct, you must give notice on your rent due date. Your rent due date (assuming the day you pay rent is the same as your rent due date on your tenancy agreement) is the 15th, so notice will start from the next 15th to expire on the 14th. In your case you gave notice on the 25th April, the next rent due date would be the 15th May and this would be when your month's notice would commence for you to vacate on the 14th June.

Handing over the keys at the end of a tenancy

Question...

My girlfriend and I moved out of our property last month at the end of our tenancy. We then went on holiday for two weeks and realised we had not handed in our keys , which we duly did on our return. The landlord is insisting on charging us two weeks extra rent and wanting to deduct it from our deposit. Can he do this? I have looked all through my tenancy agreement and cannot find any details on this.

Answer...

If a tenant fails to return the keys, this is normally taken to mean he has not given up the tenancy and therefore can be open to lots of issues for the landlord, even if the tenant has actually moved out. Handing in your keys is your officially surrendering of the property at the end of your tenancy. (I will add this does not apply during a tenancy). It could be deemed that as you have held on to the keys you were still intending to re-enter the property, maybe you still had belongings inside?. Also, for the all the landlord knew, you might have deliberately withheld the keys because you still needed to use the property itself.

A landlord cannot re-let a property until he has received the keys back, unless he arranges to have the locks changed. However, he needs to be careful about changing the locks, as the tenant may then claim unlawful eviction, which is a criminal offence. Therefore, it is not unreasonable for your landlord to claim the two weeks rent from your deposit.

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