Here is a question to the blog clinic fast track from Katy (not her real name), who is a tenant.
Hello. Our landlord of 3 years served us an eviction notice of 6 months three months ago.
We have found a house to move into and have a projected move-in date in two weeks time. Do we have to give the landlord notice on top of their notice??
I assume that the notice the landlord sent you was a section 21 notice and that your tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy.
The short answer is yes. You do need to let your landlord know.
He will need to arrange to do a checkout meeting and deal with your deposit. You should not just leave without telling him.
Also, your landlord’s notice (assuming it is a section 21 notice) does not actually end the tenancy. Its significance is that it is necessary before a possession order can be made in possession proceedings. In the meantime, your tenancy will continue, as does your right to pay rent.
So if you just move out, your landlord can still claim rent from you. Although if you move out at the end of the section 21 notice period, he would have problems enforcing this.
So the question is, what are his rights to claim rent if you move out before the end of the notice period?
You do not say whether your tenancy is still in its fixed term or whether it is a periodic tenancy, but this is important and affects your rights.
If your tenancy is a fixed-term tenancy
You will be liable for rent until the end of your fixed term.
If you move out at or before that date, you will not be liable for any rent afterwards. However, if you stay on, then you will acquire a periodic tenancy.
If your tenancy is a periodic tenancy
You can end this by giving a tenants ‘notice to quit’, which must end at the end of a period of your tenancy.
Most periodic tenancies are monthly. So if your fixed term ended on 5th November (for example), then your periodic tenancy will run from the 4th day in the month until the 5th.
So your tenant’s notice to quit would need to give the landlord notice ending on the next 4th day of the month after service of the notice to quit on your landlord.
The fact that your landlord served a six months notice makes me wonder though, whether your situation is different, as most section 21 notices will be for two months. You may want to check this.
Probably the best thing is to just discuss this with your landlord.
If he agrees to you leaving, accepts the keys and deals with your deposit, he cannot then turn around and demand more rent from you.
However, if you just move out without telling him, you may antagonise him making him more likely to stand on any rights he may have to claim future rent.