A guide to ending your tenancy

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Leaving your home - ending your tenancy.

Before making a final decision to leave your home, please give us the opportunity to talk through all of your options with you. If you are having difficulties with your tenancy then we may be able to help.

Private interviews are available at your housing office or in your home and you can have a same-sex interview if you prefer.

How to end your tenancy

By law, you must give us four weeks’ notice in writing. Please use the form and pre-paid envelope included with printed copies of this leaflet or contact your housing office.

The date of your notice will be four weeks from the Monday after we receive your signed notice. We would appreciate your new address and postcode, in case we need to contact you with any issues relating to the tenancy you are leaving.

The notice period

There are certain circumstances where it is not always possible to give the statutory four-week period.

In those situations a shorter period can be agreed with your housing office. This is usually where the tenant has died or is moving to residential care.

If you leave your home without giving notice in writing

We will consider the property as abandoned and will take action as set out in your Tenancy Agreement.

Giving notice on behalf of another tenant

You can only do this if:

  • The tenant is not capable of doing this themselves and you are the approved guarantor acting on their behalf
  • The tenant has died and you are the executor of the estate. This is usually the ‘next of kin’.

Please contact your housing office if you need further advice.

If you leave your home before the notice period ends

You will still be responsible for paying the rent for the full four-week notice period.

You will also be responsible for looking after the property – should any damage occur during this time, you may be charged.

Paying your rent

Rent will continue to be due until the date your notice period ends and all keys have been returned. To receive Housing Benefit you must continue to live in your home.

If you owe us money through missed rent payment, rechargeable repairs or court costs, it is important that you clear this before you leave. If you have difficulty in doing this please contact your Rent and Income Team or housing office.

Do not discard your rent payment card, as you can use this after your tenancy ends to make payments on any outstanding balance.

Important: Outstanding debt may affect your chances of being housed in the future by Gateshead Council or any other landlord.

What happens now

Once we receive your signed notice, we will confirm receipt of this in writing to you along with the date your keys are due in by. This letter will also show the balance of any rent due, subject to any change in Housing Benefit.

Before you leave your home, we will arrange to visit you to discuss any tenancy matters and inspect your home. During this visit we will assess the property for advertising purposes and discuss any rechargeable repairs we find.

This will give you the opportunity to rectify these problems, before the end of your tenancy. If you do not let us into the property and fail to put these repairs right, we will charge you.

Handing in your keys

Hand in all the keys to your home before noon on the day of the termination. If keys are handed in late your tenancy will be extended and you will continue to be responsible for the weekly rent.

If you have made improvements to the property

You may be entitled to claim compensation. We will give you details of this on request.

However, we will charge you for restoring any alterations that have not been completed to a satisfactory standard. If you are not sure about work that has been done, please let us know and we can arrange for a Property Inspector to visit you.

Advertising your home

Once you have told us that you are leaving your home, we will start the process of finding a new tenant.

This will involve advertising your home on the Tyne and Wear Homes website. We will need to show possible tenants around your home. We would appreciate your help in doing this.

If this will cause you any difficulties, please tell us at the time you inform us you are leaving.

Condition in which to leave the property

You should arrange for all your belongings to be removed from your home, garden, outbuildings and loft before you leave.

This includes any items you no longer want. You should leave the property safe, secure, clean and in good condition. If you fail to leave the property this way, the Rechargeable Repairs Policy will apply.

Rechargeable Repairs Policy

This is where the tenant is responsible for the repair, for example:

  • Property clearances
  • Garden clearances
  • Reglazing
  • Replacement of internal and external doors.

Please note that the jobs listed above are just a few examples of Rechargeable Repairs.

For a detailed list please see our Rechargeable Repairs Policy, which is available from the HomeRepairs service.

These charges can be paid in full or by instalments at any housing office. Your Rechargeable Repair Officer will contact you to make arrangements.

Important: Failure to make payments will result in further action being taken against you to recover this debt.

Useful checklist for leaving a property

  • Get at least two removals quotes, including clearing away any unwanted items
  • Ask if they provide free packing boxes and get these before your moving day, to give you plenty of time to pack
  • Remove all your belongings from your home, garden, outbuildings and sheds
  • Leave the property clean and tidy
  • Complete any repairs you are responsible for
  • Tell your energy suppliers you are moving and read the meters on the day you leave
  • Tell your household insurance company that you are moving and arrange cover for your new home if necessary
  • Tell other companies such as the TV Licensing Authority and your cable or satellite operator
  • Contact the Post Office about redirecting your mail to your new address
  • Put back any of our fixtures and fittings, repairing any damage
  • Leave the inside and outside of the property in a good condition. This includes gardens, outhouses, sheds and communal areas
  • Give us a forwarding address (in case we have to contact you)
  • Ensure you return two sets of keys – for front and back doors, outhouses, communal doors etc.