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The tenancy agreement will normally be for 12 months. This means that you are unable to leave the property during that period without being liable for the full amount of rent for the 12 months. You may have a break out clause that allows you a window of opportunity to leave the property after 6 months.

If you wish to leave after 6 months, you should write to the lettings agent at least a month before the planned departure date, to inform them of your intention to leave, or else follow any other instructions that you have been given by them for this type of circumstance.

Normally the landlord will get the property back at the end of the term specified in the tenancy agreement. However, there are some circumstances where the tenant or the landlord may effect an early conclusion to the tenancy agreement. Find out more here.

Tenancies are frequently renewed. Renewal terms are usually agreed at the beginning of the agreement and the details are included in the document. The tenancy can be extended either by granting a further fixed term or by allowing it to continue indefinitely as a periodic tenancy.

If you wish to remain in the property longer than the set amount specified in the lease, you should be able to. You should write to the property manager 2 months before the lease is up and advise them of your wishes. You may be able to stay on a month-to-month contract.

When you leave, ensure that you comply with your obligations as set out in your tenancy agreement. The particular areas you should pay attention to are:

  • Cleaning the property and its contents. For everything other than a student property, the agreement will probably specify that the home must be professionally cleaned before you move out. This means that you probably won't get away with just giving it the once over. You don't necessarily have to fork out for a professional cleaner, but you will need to clean the carpets and spend a good deal of time making sure that all areas of the property are spotless and ready for someone else to move into. If you would rather get in the cleaners, you can find some in SiteFinder.

  • Removing your own belongings. Don't leave your unwanted possessions in the property or the landlord will probably charge you for removing them.

  • Returning keys promptly to either the landlord or managing agent, whichever is applicable.

  • Relocating any of the landlord's furniture that you have moved into its correct and original location.

  • Leaving the garden and exterior in a reasonable condition if it is specified in the agreement.

  • Make sure that all the meters have been read and arrange for the final bills to be sent to your new address.

  • Make sure that you notify all the appropriate people of your change of address.

Read the large section of this site on moving house. Some of it relates specifically to those people who are moving from one property that they own to one that they are buying, but most of it is equally applicable to people who are renting. Click here to go to the contents page.

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