How much notice to give landlord

How much notice to give landlord

Making a change? Leaving your rented home can be an exciting thing — settling into a different neighbourhood, city, or a whole new country, perhaps. It’s a chance to mix things up, try something new, and get stuck into your next chapter.

But hold on, because there are still a few questions to tackle first. Such as how much notice to give your landlord before you leave? Or perhaps, how much notice does a landlord have to give when asking you to move out? No matter what prompted your next move, keep reading and we’ll guide you through it.

How much notice do I need to give my landlord?

If you’re a tenant asking this question, the best thing to do is check your tenancy agreement. It’s a good idea to do this for two reasons. Firstly, your agreement might actually say how much notice to give. Secondly, this could be different from the official notice periods mentioned here, and if that’s the case, you should follow the instructions as set out in your tenancy agreement.

But if your tenancy agreement doesn’t mention how much notice to give your landlord before moving out, then the answer really depends on what kind of tenancy agreement you have. Basically, there are different notice periods for different types of tenants and that’s why the information about this online can seem a bit complicated. Whether you have a fixed-term or periodic tenancy — don’t panic, let’s take a look at both.

How much notice do I have to give my landlord for a fixed-term tenancy?

In short, a fixed-term tenancy means there is a set end date on your tenancy agreement and typically, you can’t give notice to leave until this date. There might be an exception to this rule if your tenancy agreement included something called a “break clause”. This would allow you to end your tenancy early, and it usually details how many months notice to give a landlord in this case.

If you’re planning on leaving as agreed on the end date of your fixed-term tenancy, then you don’t actually need to give any official notice. You might want to organise to drop your keys off with your landlord, but otherwise, you’re pretty much sorted.

How much notice do I have to give my landlord for a periodic tenancy?

Periodic tenancies don’t have a set end date, but run week-to-week, month-to-month, or by some other arrangement. Depending on whether you live with your landlord and how often you pay rent, that’s what’ll affect how much notice to give your landlord. Here’s a breakdown:

If your landlord doesn’t live with you…

  • You’ll need to give 4 weeks’ notice if you pay rent every week.
  • You’ll need to give 1 months’ notice if you pay rent each month.
  • If you have another arrangement, then you’ll need to match your notice period to how often you pay rent. For example, if you pay rent every 3 months, you’ll need to give 3 months’ notice before moving out.

If you live with your landlord…

  • Unless it’s mentioned in your tenancy agreement, there is no set notice period for this kind of living arrangement. You and your landlord can just agree over a cup of tea and a biscuit when you’ll be moving out.

For more information about periodic tenancies, why not read: ‘Periodic tenancy: what is it and how does it work?’

What if I can’t give enough notice?

Ultimately, no matter what kind of tenancy agreement you have — if you want to move out sooner than your notice period allows, you can still ask for your landlord’s permission. If you’re lucky, they’ll let you out of the agreement early and you can move on as planned. But if they refuse, which they’re fully entitled to do, then you’ll still need to pay rent and any other household bills up until the full notice period is out.  

How much notice do I have to give my tenant?

So now we’ve gone over the tenant side of things, let’s switch it up. How much notice does a landlord need to give if they want their tenants to move out? Well, with fixed-term tenancies, the answer is the same as it is for tenants: a tenancy can’t usually be ended until the agreed-upon end date. However, for periodic tenancy agreements, how much notice a landlord has to give depends on how long the tenants have lived there.

Length of tenancy Notice period
Less than 6 months 28 days' notice
6 months to a year 90 days' notice
1 - 3 years 120 days' notice
3 - 7 years 180 days' notice
7 - 8 years 196 days' notice
More than 8 years 224 days' notice

Of course, the rules are a bit different if you’re a tenant causing trouble — late-night drum and bass sessions or a filthy kitchen attracting mice, for example. In this case, you might be wondering, how much notice does my landlord have to give me? Well, if you’re behaving badly, then your landlord can give you 28 days’ notice to leave regardless of how long you’ve been there or what kind of tenancy it is.

If your behaviour is causing serious damage to the property, let’s say you’re knocking down walls and ripping up the floorboards, the notice period decreases to just 7 days. So no matter what crazy DIY project you have in mind, trust us — put the hammer down.

A few final tips…

Communication is key. A good landlord-tenant relationship benefits everyone. If you’re a tenant, remember you’ll need a positive reference for wherever you happen to live next — it’s worth handling your notice correctly for this. If you’re a landlord, a happy tenant is far more likely to look after your property — they might even stay a bit longer too.

To learn more about giving notice to a landlord, read: ‘How to give notice to a landlord’.

Is your landlord selling their house? Check out: ‘Landlord selling house: tenants’ rights UK’.