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Ending your tenancy

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3. Ending a private tenancy

When you move into a private tenancy, you will be given an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (also known as AST) which is usually for 6 months.  If you want to end your tenancy within the first six months of your tenancy term, you should contact your landlord to discuss if they would be willing to release you from this contract. This is known as surrendering your tenancy. You cannot surrender your tenancy if you are a joint tenant without both joint tenants agreeing to the surrender.

Your landlord may decline your request and you would remain responsible for the rental costs until the fixed term of the tenancy has come to an end. If your landlord agrees to allow you to surrender your tenancy you should get this in writing from the landlord to avoid any dispute later on.

If you have already lived in your private tenancy for longer than the fixed term and did not sign another tenancy agreement, you can hand in notice at any time. You will need to read your tenancy agreement to check what notice period was agreed, it is usually one month (or 4 weeks if paid weekly). This must be in writing to your landlord. If you are a joint tenant, this will end your tenancy for both tenants.