Leaving your home
How do I end my tenancy?
If you're a current Council tenant and you're moving home, you must give four weeks notice in writing. The letter giving notice must be received by 12.00pm on a Monday - your tenancy will end on the Sunday four weeks later. If it's not received by 12.00 pm on the Monday, you'll be charged an extra week's rent.
How do I end a tenancy that’s not mine?
When a relative or close friend passes away, dealing with their affairs at such a time can be very difficult.
If your friend or relative was a tenant of ours, you should contact their Neighbourhood Officer about the following:
- The name and address of the deceased
- Date of death
- The contact details of the person dealing with the affairs of the deceased person - please let our staff know if you are the Executor
- If known, the date you expect the property to be cleared and the keys returned to us
- We'll need to see a death certificate or alternatively use the “Tell Us Once” service, which is completed with the Registrar.
At least four weeks’ notice is required in writing, with the tenancy ending on a Sunday.
To end a tenancy, we're only able to accept a formal notice from the Executor. However, if there's no will or the named Executors aren't willing to act, we can accept a formal notice from an Administrator who's responsible for dealing with the estate.
An Administrator has to apply for letters of administration before they can do this. In the event that there's no Executor or Administrator, we'll need to apply to the Public Trustee to formally end the tenancy. The tenancy will then end on the next Sunday after 28 days have passed from the date when the Public Trustee was informed.
The rent due and any other charges should be paid in full. If the tenant was receiving housing benefit, this will cease on the Sunday following the date on which they passed away. Council Tax benefit will cease on the day before they passed away. Don’t forget to notify our Council Tax team and if applicable, our Housing Benefit team to advise them of this change via 01884 255255.
If there's an outstanding balance on the rent account after the termination date, we'd expect to recover this from the deceased person’s estate.
If you're the husband, wife, partner or relative of the deceased person and are living at the property, you will need to contact the Neighbourhood team to get additional advice. For example, if you or anyone else was living in the property for 12 months or more when the tenant passed away, you or they may be able to continue living there. We'll let you know if you or they can do this.
If you were not a joint tenant or do not qualify to succeed the tenancy and you require alternative accommodation, our Neighbourhood team will advise what options are available to you. You'll also need to return the keys to us when the notice period on the property ends.
If you're a joint tenant, you won't need to end the tenancy, but you will need to contact us to update your tenancy details.
Where can I return the keys?
All keys to the property need to be handed back to us by 10.00am or Midday, on the Monday immediately following your tenancy end date. Please refer to your tenancy agreement to see which time applies.
What if I or a relative is moving into a Care home?
If a tenant moves into a Care home and has no intention of returning to their property, a notice will need to be served to end their tenancy.
If the tenant has mental capacity, they'll need to follow the procedures above and give four weeks’ notice in writing. If a tenant does not have mental capacity and has a Power of Attorney (POA), that person will need to give four weeks’ notice in writing. See GOV.UK – Power of Attorney for more details.
If a tenant does not have mental capacity and doesn’t have a Power of Attorney (POA), you'll need to contact the Neighbourhood Officer as soon as possible to discuss the way forward.
Note: If the tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit, payments will stop on the Sunday after it's confirmed they have no intention to return to the property.
Checklist of things to do:
Each year, we spend thousands of pounds cleaning and clearing empty properties before we can make them ready to let again. This means we have less money to spend on repairs and other improvements to our properties.
Before you move out, you're required to:
- Allow our technical staff in to inspect your home
- Allow us to show prospective tenants around your home before you move out
- Have a clear rent account
- Return all the keys to the property to us by midday on the Monday, immediately following your tenancy end date
- Contact your utility providers and give them your meter readings - if you have key meters, leave keys in the meters with no debts
- Arrange for your mail to be redirected
If you're moving out completely and not transferring to another Council home, you'll also need to provide us with a forwarding address.
All tenants are required to:
- Make sure that the garden is tidy and free of rubbish
- Remove all furniture, belongings and any rubbish from the property - this includes the loft, garden and sheds
- Leave the property in a clean condition - windows, floors, cupboards, worktops and all sanitary ware
All tenants must also:
- Make sure the property is in good decorative order
- Repair any damage caused by the removal of fixtures
- Repair everything that you or another member of your household have damaged
- Clearly mark any items that you have agreed with us to leave behind for the new tenant
If you don't comply with these guidelines, we'll charge you for the cost of cleaning and clearing your home. You'll also be charged for any repairs that you've failed to fix.
In line with our Recharges Policy, you'll be liable to pay for any work that's not 'fair wear and tear'. Examples include:
- clearance of property and gardens at the end of the tenancy;
- rechargeable repairs and unauthorised alterations by a tenant where retrospective consent cannot be granted.
For more information about recharges, Rechargeable Repairs.
Moving home can be a stressful experience. The following checklist will help cover some of the more important things you'll need to do:
- Report a change of address for Council Tax
- If applicable, contact your Benefits providers to notify your change of address - use Report a change of address for Housing Benefit
- Check if you need to register with a new GP and dentist if you're moving to a new area
- Contact Royal Mail to redirect your post
- Contact your utility suppliers to provide your latest meter readings for gas/water/electricity/oil - do this before you leave your property and when you arrive at the new property
- If you drive a vehicle, notify the DVLA to change your address on your driving licence
- Re-register to vote at a polling station near your new address, see GOV.UK - Register to vote and I have moved - where do I vote?
- TV licence - your licence covers your current address, but you'll need to notify TV Licensing to change your address details