Ending a Tenancy Agreement
On This Page
Knowing how to end a tenancy is essential for any landlord. Despite less than 1% of tenancies ending via court action, the process can be difficult and frustrating with many landlords waiting for months for possession, even when everything has been done correctly.
As most landlords only seek possession where the tenant is breaching their contract, getting the possession process wrong can be extremely costly as the process must be restarted from the beginning.
Gain access to our vast library of resources, advice and guides, including notice to end a tenancy guidance, by becoming a member today.
Ending an Assured Shorthold Tenancy
Section 21 Notice
Last Updated: 21/11/2023
The most common type of notice for assured shorthold tenancies; the Section 21 notice can be served once the tenant has lived in the property for at least four months and does not require you give your reason for possession. However, this landlord notice to end the tenancy cannot require possession before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy and you must meet all the additional requirements to serve a valid notice.
Section 8 Notice
Last Updated: 01/11/2023
If you have an assured or assured shorthold tenancy agreement, then you may be able to use a Section 8 notice to end a tenancy agreement instead. This notice can only be used where at least one of the grounds for possession set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 apply.
Last Updated: 25/03/2022
If you are using a Section 8 notice then you will need to state which grounds you are relying on from Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 and why you are relying on them.
The grounds for possession fall into two categories:
- Mandatory grounds where the tenant will definitely be ordered to leave if the landlord can prove the ground exists, and
- Discretionary grounds where the judge has discretion on whether to grant possession
This guide covers which grounds are mandatory, which are discretionary and when they should be used.
Notice to Quit
Last Updated: 28/09/2020
How to serve a Notice
Last Updated: 04/10/2021
There are many different types of notice that a landlord may need to serve depending on their tenancy. These notices will each have their own specific requirements. However, whether it is a Section 21 notice or a notice to quit, there are certain practices that you should follow as a landlord if you want to ensure the notice is served correctly on a residential tenancy. The NRLA will support all members with how to serve a notice.
Applying to court for possession
If you have served a notice to end the tenancy and the tenants have not moved out, you will need a court order to regain possession of your property.
Last Updated: 10/11/2023
If you have used a Section 21 notice, in most cases this will mean using the accelerated possession procedure. The accelerated possession procedure does not normally require you to attend a court hearing. Instead, the judge makes their decisions after looking over the paperwork you sent in with the N5B form.
After you’ve got the N5B form, download our completion instructions for support with the process.
Last Updated: 10/11/2023
If you are not entitled to use the accelerated possession procedure you will have to apply for a court hearing to receive a possession order. In most cases this will mean filling out a claim form (N5) and the particulars of claim form (N119).
Last Updated: 10/11/2023
If your tenant does not move out by the date set by the court in the possession order, you will need to take enforcement action and apply for a bailiff to enforce the order. To do this, you must complete a warrant for possession of landlord (Form N325) and send it to the court that heard your possession claim.
Get your form from gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n325-request-for-warrant-for-possession-of-land
Ending a tenancy without a court order
Last Updated: 16/10/2020
Most tenancies end without the need for a court order because a tenant chooses to end it. Normally this is many years after they move in and long after the fixed term of the contract is over. However, sometimes a tenant will want to leave during the fixed term of the tenancy. This guidance contains resources on what you should do in the circumstances and how best to record this surrender.
Want to let your tenant surrender early? Download our Deed of Surrender.
Last Updated: 11/10/2023
In most cases a tenancy will end when your tenant wants it to end. In these instances, a tenant will choose to leave by serving a notice on you and then vacating the property. Occasionally though, a tenant may leave the property without informing the landlord. As a landlord needs a court order to end the tenancy this can be problematic. This guide covers some of the things you need to consider in these circumstances if it happens to you.
Items left behind at the property
Last Updated: 04/05/2022
Items left behind at the end of a tenancy still belong to the tenant and landlords are responsible for ensuring they are kept safe. Landlords can dispose of them but they need to follow the correct procedure, including storing them for a time.
This guidance provides information on the procedure for disposing and storing these items.
We have a wide range of available resources on various topics relating to good tenancy management. For a full list of these resources please see our resources index.