Breaking a fixed-term agreement with your tenant can occur for a number of reasons. This can range from wanting to sell your property or having tenants that are not complying with the terms of your agreement.
It’s important to know the laws and steps to take around breaking an agreement to keep it simple and avoid involving the tenancy tribunal.
Reviewing the agreement you have with your tenants is the first step to breaking a fixed-term tenancy early. This will help you understand what steps need to be taken to correctly break the agreement and inform you of any penalties you may have to pay. There are legal obligations that must be met when ending a fixed-term tenancy, so checking your legal obligations with the tenancy tribunal is also crucial. The notice period can vary depending on the type of agreement you have, and you must give the tenant at least two months’ written notice to leave the property. You can contact tenancy services here to find out more.
Once you have reviewed the agreement, it’s time to discuss the situation with your tenant. Explain why you need to end it and discuss possible solutions that work for both parties. If the house is being sold, you can offer them the opportunity to purchase it or help them find alternative accommodation.
After having discussed this with your tenant, you can serve the correct notice. There are two different types of notice you can serve based on the situation.
- The most common type of notice given is a section 21 notice. This can only be used if there is no breach of the tenancy agreement and you must give the tenant at least two months’ written notice. The notice period can not end before the end of the fixed term.
- A section 8 notice is used if the tenant has breached the tenancy agreement. This is in scenarios where the tenant may have damaged the property or not paid rent. Two weeks’ notice must be given but it can vary depending on the reason for the notice or can be shorter if the tenant is more than two months in overdue payments.
If you can’t come to an agreement that works for both parties, consider mediation. This is where an unbiased third party assists in guiding a discussion to meet a mutual agreement. The process of mediation can often lead to saving time, and money and reduce stress for those involved. If the situation isn’t resolved, you can then apply for the tenancy tribunal.
Once the notice has been served, you can start the procedure of ending the tenancy. This involves a final inspection to check the condition of the property hasn’t changed from when the tenant moved in. If any damages or cleaning is required, this can be deducted from the bond. Once all final deductions have been made, you can then return the tenant’s bond payment. This must be done within 10 working days of the end of the tenancy, or within 5 working days of a deduction agreement.
If you have a rental and don’t want the stress of the responsibilities, get in touch with us today and let us handle it.