How to end a tenancy the right way

By Amer Siddiq, founder of

Ending a tenancy the right way is key to a successful and profitable property management business.

Here are some tips for landlords to make sure that you end a tenancy in such a way that it's ready for a quick let and both you and your tenant leave on good terms – wherever possible.

1. Getting it right from the outset

Remember, prevention is better than cure! When the tenant moves into the property, make sure that you have sat down and explained to them what notification period is required to end the tenancy and make sure the tenant understands their responsibilities.

  • Give notice to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed term with our Section 21 Notice download.

2. Act fast

As soon as the tenant contacts you, arrange a personal visit as soon as possible. The purpose of the visit is twofold:

  1. To find out why the tenant is leaving
  2. To re-iterate the terms of the tenancy so the tenant knows what your responsibility is as a landlord and what they need to do as a tenant

3. Give them a tenant check-out checklist

When you visit the tenant make sure that you have a 'checkout checklist', or something similar, and are able to give a copy to the tenant. Remember, you want to motivate them to leave the property in the best condition possible so give them a list of things that will benefit them and that they need to comply with before they get their deposit back.

Your check-out checklist will include things like:

  • Giving you a forwarding address
  • Carrying out a property inventory check
  • Carrying out a general property inspection
  • Notifying all utility/service suppliers
  • Returning their keys
  • Forwarding all mail to new address, etc.

4. Start marketing your property for re-let

As soon as you’re notified, your focus needs to switch to how you can re-let your property as quickly as possible. Remember, cash flow is king in any business! So, in other words, notification of a tenant leaving needs to trigger your property 'fast-let' process!

Tip: If the tenant has been a good tenant, then incentivise them and say you’ll give them ‘X amount’ if they find you a tenant! I’ve used this technique to re-let properties without any void periods!

5. Stay in regular contact

During the notice period stay in contact with the tenant. For example, make sure you visit/call them a week before your final check-out visit to make sure they are on track to meet their obligations.

A final word - working like this is the best way to avoid confrontations and has worked on ninety nine per cent of occasions for me!

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Published on: November 9, 2010

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