When embarking on a new chapter or seeking a change in your living situation, the process of concluding a tenancy requires strategic planning and unwavering commitment to legal and ethical obligations. This guide serves as a roadmap to a results-driven approach, ensuring a smooth transition while safeguarding your rights and nurturing a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

Serving Notice to your Landlord

You have to give your landlord at least 28 days' notice in writing if you want to end your tenancy. This notice period will begin on the day your landlord receives your notice, and ends 28 days after that date, so if you send the notice to your landlord by post or email, you must allow your landlord 48 hours to receive it. This delivery time should therefore be added onto the amount of notice you give your landlord.

For example, f you send your landlord a notice to leave by recorded delivery post on 29 January, they will be expected to receive the notice on 31 January; the 28 days' notice period will start on 31 January and end on 27 February, so the earliest date you could leave the rental property would be 28 February.

Even if you have already communicated your intentions verbally, you should always serve your landlord notice in written form. This formalises your intent and creates a tangible record. Your notice should exude a tone of professionalism and respect, including your name, the property's address, the move-out date, and your signature. Refer to your tenancy agreement for specific delivery instructions, such as certified mail, email, or hand-delivery.

Being Served with Notice

Your notice has to be given 'freely and without coercion', which means your landlord must not have pressured you into leaving. If your landlord tries to persuade or force you to leave without following the correct legal process, they could be carrying out an illegal eviction and you would definitely have grounds for an appeal, or even legal action. This is a criminal offence in Scotland.

An example of illegal eviction by coercion could be carrying out work that makes it impossible for you to continue to stay in the property, e.g. removing the toilet or stopping the drinking water supply.

If your landlord serves notice, carefully scrutinise it. Ensure that it aligns with legal requirements, and if the rationale seems unclear or questionable, consider seeking legal advice. If you are unprepared or the notice appears unjust, engage in open communication with your landlord. This proactive approach may lead to a mutually beneficial resolution.

Differing Lengths of Notice

You and your landlord can agree a different notice period. But this must be in writing and can only be done once you have started to live in the let property. Again, your agreement to the change of notice period must be given 'freely and without coercion'. If your landlord has inserted a longer notice period into your tenancy agreement before you started living in the let property, the notice period will be invalid and the 28 day notice period will apply.

The only way you can end your tenancy in less than 28 days is if you state your wishes in your notice and the landlord responds with their agreement in writing. If the landlord does not agree, you must adhere to the 28 days' notice.

If you give your landlord notice but then change your mind before it ends, you can ask them to continue the tenancy instead. It's up to your landlord to decide whether to agree.

To end a joint tenancy, all the joint tenants must agree to end the tenancy and sign the notice to leave. One joint tenant cannot terminate a joint tenancy on behalf of all the joint tenants.

Strategic Steps Before Moving Out

Mastering the Tenancy Agreement

Review the terms of your agreement, with a focus on departure conditions and obligations. Mastery of these terms ensures a seamless transition and protects your interests.

Thorough Cleaning for Deposit Retrieval

To secure the return of your security deposit, invest in thorough cleaning. Leave no corner untouched, from carpets to appliances.

Addressing Repairs and Maintaining Documentation Excellence

Address damages beyond normal wear and tear by either arranging for repairs or engaging in transparent communication with your landlord. Document the property's condition through photographs or videos to preemptively handle any disputes.

Forward Planning

Update your mailing address to ensure the smooth flow of essential documents or mail after your move. This forward-thinking approach minimises post-move inconveniences.

Understanding Financial Dynamics

Comprehend the nuances of your security deposit. Understand the conditions for its return and ensure rent payments continue until the official end of your tenancy to avoid legal repercussions.

Sealing the Move-Out Deal

Walk-Through Diplomacy

Coordinate a final property inspection with your landlord. Discuss any issues or discrepancies, striving for a consensus to finalise the transition smoothly.

Key Handover

Hand over all keys and access devices according to the agreement, officially concluding your tenancy on a positive note.

Forwarding Address for Seamless Closure

Provide your new address to your landlord, facilitating the return of your security deposit and relevant documents. This ensures a clear and efficient post-tenancy process.

Post-Move Management

If your security deposit is not returned within the stipulated time, inquire promptly. Legal obligations mandate its return unless valid reasons are provided. Keep all relevant institutions updated with your new address, including your bank, employer, and subscription services.


Concluding a tenancy is a strategic undertaking requiring meticulous planning, legal adherence, and effective communication. Understanding your rights and responsibilities, maintaining transparent dialogue with your landlord, and fulfilling obligations positions you for a seamless transition, preserving a positive rental history. Remember, local laws and regulations vary, so consult with legal professionals when in doubt. For any outstanding questions, contact us today.