Moving out and giving notice
If you no longer want to rent your home with us, it is important to end your tenancy properly. If you don’t end you tenancy properly it could cause issues.
This might include moving out without telling us, leaving rent arrears or failing to comply with the terms of your tenancy agreement.
Problems of this type, may also affect your ability to rent with other landlords and housing providers in the future as many of them carry out checks with previous landlords so it makes sense to do everything properly.
Giving notice to end your tenancy
We’re sorry you’re leaving us!
It is important to formally end your tenancy. If you do not, it could mean that you are unable to rent from us in the future if problems are left behind. If you move out without telling us, leave rent arrears or fail to comply with the terms of your tenancy, this could cause issues. Problems of this type, may also affect your ability to rent with other landlords and housing providers in the future. Many of them carry out checks on previous tenancy records so it makes sense to do everything properly.
To make sure things go as smoothly as possible you need to give us 4 weeks notice.
- You are legally obliged to give at least 4 weeks notice in writing.
- Your notice period will start from the first Monday after you have informed us (unless you inform us on a Monday) and your tenancy will end on the Sunday.
- Please note that while we will begin the four weeks’ notice from when you verbally inform us, we cannot legally end your tenancy without formal notice in writing.
- ‘in writing’ means via our mobile app; or by completing a Tenancy Termination form which you can obtain by contacting us.
- All keys to the property and any out-buildings and/or communal areas must be handed in by 12:00 on the Monday after your tenancy expires at the latest otherwise we will charge a further week’s rent.
- Once legal notice has been given, you can’t withdraw or extend it.
- Once you have given notice, we will write to you confirming the date your tenancy will end, providing more useful information and confirming an appointment to visit you as soon as possible
Please note once you have submitted a notice to terminate your tenancy you do not have the right to withdraw your notice of termination. If you are in any doubt about this you should seek legal advice.
When you move out you should leave your home in a good, clean condition. If you don’t, you may be charged for any repair work that is needed after you’ve left if it is thought to be your fault.
Every year we spend thousands of pounds clearing properties of rubbish and belongings left by tenants. This is money we could spend on local communities, improving homes and building new homes.
We will arrange to visit your property when you give notice. This allows us to talk to you about the process of ending your tenancy, as well as allowing us to inspect the property and start making our own preparations to re-let the property.
You are expected to leave the property in a condition that is ready for the next tenant. This means:
- Leaving it clean and clear of rubbish and unwanted items:
- repairing any damage;
- Replacing anything you have removed or changed that was part of the property (please check with your Neighbourhood Officer if unsure)
- Leaving the garden clear and tidy
- Returning all sets of keys
It is really important that you follow the steps above, not doing so could result in any costs we incur for the removal and/or cleaning of the property being recharged to you. Your local council may be able to help with the disposal of any bulky items, find your local council here.
Rent payments and outstanding balances
If you pay by Direct Debit and you have paid all rent due up to the end of your tenancy you may cancel the direct debit once you have handed in your keys.
Please note if you pay monthly you may need to make a partial payment to clear the balance due up to the end of your tenancy.
If you pay by Direct Debit and you are behind with your rent we may continue to take Direct Debit payments until your account is clear. Please contact your Income Officer if you want to discuss alternative arrangements to clear any outstanding debt on your account.
If you have arrears and do not pay them off, here are some of the things that could happen:
- You may be refused a transfer to another Together Housing property
- You may be refused housing by us in future
- You may be refused housing by other landlords too
- Your credit reference could be affected for up to 6 years
- You could end up with a County Court Judgement or Attachment of Earnings
- If you move without telling us where to, we may still trace you anyway
- You could have a debt collection agency knocking at your door.
We can help!
Please speak to us if you have any concerns about your rent account and we will help you agree a way to pay before it is too late. We may also be able to help you maximise your income or advise you on budgeting or what to do about any debts, click here for further help.
If you receive Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent, your benefit payment to us will end when you move out of the property even if your tenancy with us has not yet ended.
If you move to another rented property, Housing Benefit is then paid for that property instead. This can leave you with rent to pay at the first property if move out before the tenancy has ended. To avoid this, you may be able to claim an overlap of Housing Benefit or ‘benefit on 2 homes’. This means Housing Benefit is paid for your ‘old’ property until your tenancy ends at the same time as it’s paid for your ‘new’ property. Housing Benefit can be paid on 2 homes for up to 4 weeks only if:
- You are still liable for rent on your ‘old’ property
- You’ve already moved into your ‘new’ property
- The overlap in the 2 tenancies is ‘unavoidable’
Request a transfer
If you are a current tenant and thinking of moving, we have five principles you must meet.
This is to make sure we are moving those most in need, as well as creating sustainable neighbourhoods. The five principles are:
- Must have lived in their current property for at least 12 months.
- Must have no outstanding debt on the current or any former tenancy, e.g. rent arrears, court costs, tenant responsible repair costs.
- Must be no breach of conditions of the Tenancy Agreement e.g. no current anti-social behaviour or nuisance within the last two years. NB: if the tenancy is less than two years old, this requirement would be for the length of the tenancy.
- Must have a statutory housing need as identified in the Allocation Policies we work with across the Group.
- Must be no damage to the property (other than fair wear and tear) which would incur a charge to the tenant. The property must be in a lettable condition including garden areas on the day the property inspection takes place. It would normally be expected that only safety checks would be required when the property becomes empty.
If you meet the above criteria you would then need to apply for a property. You can find how you can apply for a property in your area by visiting www.togetherhousing.co.uk/find-a-home/homes-to-rent.
If successful all transfer applicants with a housing need will be visited before an offer of accommodation is made.
Where a transfer request is received that does not meet the above criteria, tenants will be advised of their options including directing them towards the mutual exchange scheme.
Request an exchange
Do you want to swap your property?
If you are looking to move home, you might want to consider swapping with another tenant, sometimes called a Mutual Exchange. You can exchange with a tenant of:
- Your existing landlord
- Another Housing Association
- A Local Authority
If you are interested in this option you can register free of charge with Homeswapper who advertise exchanges throughout the country.
You will then need to contact the applicant you wish to exchange with directly. You can do this through their contact details on the site.
If you want to exchange with the tenant of another registered social landlord or council, we will provide a written reference for your tenancy to the other landlord. The other registered social landlord or council will do the same for their tenant.
Other conditions that you should meet before the exchange may be allowed to go ahead include the following;
- You cannot have any Rent arrears
- You cannot have been or be causing a nuisance or anti-social behaviour
- A gas and electricity safety check must have taken place
- You must not have made any alterations without permission
We will not unreasonably refuse an application for a mutual exchange. However, we may refuse an application if;
- There is a court order against you on any grounds, including rent arrears
- There is a current notice seeking possession in force
- Your proposed new property is too big for your needs
- Your proposed new property is too small for your needs resulting in statutory overcrowding
- The property is specifically designed or adapted for the elderly and/or disabled and you do not qualify for such housing
- You may not be eligible for this property under the current housing policy
- Your current tenancy is demoted or licensed
Before a mutual exchange takes place both parties to the exchange must get permission from their landlord. To do this you will need to download and complete the Mutual Exchange request form.
On completion of the Mutual Exchange we will send an acknowledgement letter to you to confirm the change.
Assigning a tenancy
Assignment is one of the ways a tenancy can be legally transferred from one person to another.
When a tenancy is assigned, all the rights and responsibilities of the tenancy pass from the you to the new tenant. You will need our permission to assign your tenancy to someone else. If you don’t follow the correct steps, any attempt to assign your tenancy won’t be valid.
Your rights after a tenancy is assigned
You lose all your rights as a tenant after you assign your tenancy to someone else. In most cases, if you continue to live in the property, the person you assigned the tenancy to becomes your landlord. Your legal status is an excluded occupier.
Assignment following the death of a tenant
In the event of a tenant’s death, most tenancies can be passed to a relative or family member, that the law says can succeed (inherit) the tenancy. Only one succession is normally allowed. For more information on the what to do when a tenant has died or further details on Succession and Suvivorship, please click here.
The next steps
A “Form of Assignment” application must be completed by all parties to the agreement and returned to us. Supporting documentation must also be provided to show proof of residence for more than 12 months, e.g. utility bills or bank statements etc. The Tenancy Agreement provides Tenants with a contractual right of assignment and all applications will be considered to decide whether the request for assignment is reasonable. Starter Tenants’ have no rights to assign their tenancy. All Assignments must be approved in writing by us before any changes to the Tenancy take place.
Once the Assignment has been agreed by us;
- The new tenant takes the property in the condition in which it stands at the date of the transfer and accepts liability for any damage caused by the original tenant.
- The new tenant accepts liability for any arrears of rent as at the date of assignment.
- If a postponed order for possession is in force at the time of assignment, the name of the new tenant will be substituted in place of the previous tenant on the order.
On completion of the Assignment we will send an acknowledgement letter to the tenant to confirm the change.
AN ASSIGNMENT DOES NOT CREATE A NEW TENANCY