If the tenancy is a fixed term agreement the letting agent will usually determine what your intentions are and the tenants, usually two to three months prior to the end of tenancy.
If both parties are happy to renew the tenancy, this will typically involve adjusting the rent (up or down), depending on the current market and anything pre-agreed in the original tenancy. However, it is also an opportunity to add or tailor other terms that both you and the tenant agree on.
Should you or your tenant not wish to renew the tenancy, you should check the contract to make sure proper notice is served. Your letting agent will then start working on a new marketing plan for your property.
If the property is managed, your agent will handle the tenant’s exit, including organising the outgoing inventory and the return of the keys. They will also arrange the release of the deposit minus any agreed deductions. Then the process of finding the right new tenant begins again. If you have not instructed a managing agent then you will need to arrange this yourself.
Inventory check out reports
An inventory check out appointment should be arranged for the day the tenancy ends and in the presence of the tenant. The property should be inspected and its condition should be cross checked against the original inventory check in report, allowing for fair wear and tear. This can also be a good opportunity to carry out any maintenance that might be needed. If any damage has been caused by the tenant, the landlord may be justified in claiming against the tenant’s deposit to pay for the work. If this is disputed by the tenant, independent arbitration may be required. This is a free service that will be available through the tenancy deposit protection schemes, but may also involve going to the small claims court.
Terminating a tenancy before the fixed term has been reached
Tenancies can be ended before the fixed term has been reached providing a break clause was included in the tenancy agreement and correct notice is given by one of the parties. When a tenant has moved out, they must take all of their possessions with them. They do not have an automatic right to go back into the property to collect items or to clean the property. This should all have been done before the tenancy ended.
Evicting a tenant
If the tenant fails to vacate the property after valid notice has been served, or if the tenant has broken a major term of the tenancy agreement as defined by the Housing Act 1988, the landlord is able to apply to the courts for an order of possession and the tenant to be evicted.