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Tenant Wants to Leave (England)

Surrender or Notice to Quit

9 Mar 2016 | 2 comments

Hi, My tenant has been with me for 9.5 years on AST. He’s told me he’s planning to leave (change personal circumstances), but NOT given firm date or notice. He does owe me some rent (c. 6 weeks), but he is currently redecorating property and with remainder of deposit (pre DPS) I’m happy to let him go and write-off balance owed to me (if he does this weekend as I’ve heard on grapevine).

Question: I was about to download surrender doc to take with me, but I see you suggest notice to quit is more frequently used.

Now, I am unsure which to use. I will take the keys this weekend (if handed to me), although at that stage I still would not have been given formal notice by the tenant. I would like to end this tenancy so that I am safe to re-let as already have interested people…

Please can you advise?



  1. guildy

    If you do meet the tenant at the weekend and take the keys, then the surrender document is the ideal document. A surrender is a final confirmation that the property is yours. In fact the returning of the keys and the mutual agreement for him to leave is sufficient but there’s nothing quite like having it in writing too! A surrender should be made as a deed which is why the form asks for a witness. If you can get a witness to the signatures that would be great but having the keys returned is more important.

    If however the tenant is not going for another four weeks (or something), then the notice to quit is more suitable as that is formal notice from the tenant that they intend to quit the tenancy at some point in the future. The advantage to the tenant is that you have no choice in the matter so the tenant is safe in the knowledge that the tenancy will end (assuming they give the correct length of notice and expire it on the correct date etc.)

  2. sjcollett

    Super thanks for clarification.

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