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Ending Short Term Tenancy Agreement

Ending Short Term Tenancy Agreement: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants

A short term tenancy agreement, also known as a fixed-term tenancy agreement, is a legal contract signed by both the landlord and tenant that specifies the start and end dates of the tenancy, as well as the terms and conditions of the lease. While short term leases provide flexibility for both parties, there may be occasions when either the landlord or tenant may need to terminate the agreement before its end date. Here is a guide on how to end a short term tenancy agreement.

Termination by the landlord

If the landlord wants to end the lease before the end date specified in the tenancy agreement, they must have a valid reason to do so. The most common reason is if the tenant has breached the terms of the agreement, such as failing to pay rent or causing damage to the property. In this case, the landlord must give the tenant a notice to quit, which is a legal document informing the tenant that the agreement will end on a certain date.

The notice to quit must be in writing, and the landlord must follow specific rules on how to serve it to the tenant. For example, if the tenant is in Scotland, the landlord must give at least 28 days` notice. In England and Wales, the notice period depends on the reason for ending the tenancy, ranging from two weeks to three months. If the tenant does not leave the property by the specified date, the landlord can apply to court for an eviction notice.

Termination by the tenant

If the tenant wants to end the lease before the end date, they must give the landlord a notice to quit. The notice period depends on the agreement and ranges from one to two months. The notice must be in writing and should include the date the tenant intends to vacate the property. If the landlord agrees to the early termination, they may agree to return any unused rent or deposit.

If the tenant ends the tenancy without giving proper notice and does not have a valid reason for doing so, the landlord may keep the deposit and claim for any unpaid rent or damages through the court.

Ending the tenancy by mutual agreement

In some cases, both the landlord and tenant may agree to end the tenancy before the end date. This could be due to a change in circumstances, such as the tenant moving for work or the landlord wanting to sell the property. In this case, the parties must sign a deed of surrender, which legally ends the agreement and specifies the date the tenant will vacate the property.

Final thoughts

Ending a short term tenancy agreement requires careful consideration and following specific legal procedures. As a tenant or landlord, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement and the rules on how to terminate it. By following these guidelines, both parties can avoid disputes and ensure a smooth transition at the end of the lease.

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