Notice periods to end a tenancy

The amount of notice needed to end a tenancy depends generally on how long a tenant has lived in the property.

The tenancy / lease agreement may give a longer period of notice, and a landlord and tenant may also agree a shorter period of notice, but this can only be agreed when a notice has been given. The law sets out minimum notice periods (see table below). Recent changes to the legislation have extended the notice periods which a landlord must provide to a tenant when issuing a notice. 

It is important that those issuing notices of termination familiarise themselves with the notice periods, as failing to issue a notice of termination with the correct number of days may invalidate the notice of termination in full. 

 

Start of notice periods

By law, the notice period starts the day after the tenant receives the notice. So, if the tenant receives the notice on a Monday, the notice period is counted from the Tuesday. It is a good idea to give some extra days’ notice to make sure the legal minimum notice period is covered.

Invalid notice of termination is a common issue in dispute cases and in 2016 43% of notices of termination were invalid. This was due to many reasons, the most common being:

  • insufficient notice being given (day one is counted from the day after serving the notice) and;
  • not allowing the minimum 14 day warning letter for rent arrears to expire before serving a 28-day notice of termination.

 

Notice required to end a tenancy

The amount of notice required to end a tenancy depends on how long the tenant has lived in the property. The lease agreement may give a longer period of notice to the tenant, and a landlord and tenant may also agree a shorter period of notice, however, this can only be agreed when a notice has been given. The law sets out minimum notice periods which are different for a landlord and a tenant.

From June 4th 2019, the required notice to end a tenancy for a landlord is:

Duration of a tenancy Landlord notice period
Less than 6 months 28 days
Not less than 6 months, but less than one year 90 days 
Not less than one year, but less than three years  120 days 
Not less than three years, but less than seven years  180 days 
Not less than seven years, but less than eight years  196 days 
Not less than eight years 224 days 

 

Duration of a tenancy Tenants notice periods
Less than 6 months 28 days
6+ months, but less than 1 year 35 days
1+ year, but less than 2 years 42 days
2+ years but less than 4 years 56 days
4+ years but less than 8 years 84 days
8+ years 112 days

A tenancy can also be ended if both a landlord and tenant agree to terminate a lease.

7 day notice

If there is a high and imminent risk of death, serious injury or danger to the structure of the property as a result of the landlord’s failure to comply with their obligations, the tenant only has to give 7 days notice. Warning letters do not need to be sent in this situation.