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).
Please note that legislation introduced on 16 July 2021 has brought in changes to procedures on ending a tenancy as a result of rent arrears, especially if a tenant has been impacted financially by Covid-19.
The minimum requirement is 28 days for a tenancy that is less than 6 months in duration. Please note that “duration” refers to the total period of time in which a tenant has been living in the dwelling i.e. from the commencement date of the tenancy up to and including the date on which the Notice of Termination is served.
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 on the day immediately following the date of service of the notice of termination. The date of service, which must be stated in the notice of termination, is the date the notice of termination was last in the landlord’s control. Usually, this will be the date the landlord posted the notice to the tenant, handed it to the tenant personally or put it in the tenant’s letter box.
Example: On Monday, 1 July, a landlord posts a notice of termination to the tenant giving 28 days’ notice that the tenancy is being terminated. 1 July is the date of service. The 28 day notice period, starts on Tuesday, 2 July.
It is a good idea for landlords to give some extra days’ notice to tenants to make sure the minimum notice period required in the particular circumstance is covered.
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 4 June 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.