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Ending your Tenancy (giving Notice to Quit)

There may be many different reasons why you want or need to end your tenancy. However, you must tell us as soon as possible if you wish to leave your home. You will find details of the amount of notice that you must give us before you move out of your home in your tenancy agreement. This is usually 28 days.

You can notify us by calling the Customer Service Centre on 0800 169 5454, giving notice in writing or by visiting our offices at Community House, Stourport Road, Kidderminster DY11 7QE.

After you have told us you are leaving, our Voids Inspector will visit you in your home to carry out a property inspection. They will

  • check the condition of the property
  • let you know about any possible charges
  • ask you to sign the Notice to Quit if you have not done so already
  • confirm what the final arrangements are for handing back your keys including when, where and by what time

Contents

Although the tenancy is a fortnightly agreement, when you sign your tenancy agreement, you accept that you will give four weeks written notice to the Company (See ‘Assured Tenancy Terms and Conditions’ and ‘Starter Tenancies Terms and Conditions’ Section 3.23) This gives the Company time to carry out a Pre- Termination Inspection, sort out any queries with you as the outgoing tenant and select a new tenant.

The Notice to Quit must be signed by a person who is part of the tenancy or in the event of death, the tenant’s Next of Kin (see ‘Ending a tenancy for a relative who has recently died’ below). We will ask for your signature during the Pre- termination property inspection.

If you do not allow us to carry out this inspection you will be unable to sign the Notice to Quit and it will not be valid. This means that you will continue to have full responsibility for the property, along with all obligations set out in the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement including payment of rent for your home, which is due in advance on Monday of every fortnight.

It is important that you give us as much information as possible about how we can contact you about your tenancy. This can include an email address or mobile phone number. We may need to discuss important matters including arranging for any overpaid rent to be refunded to you.

When you give us your Notice to Quit, an appointment will be made at the same time for us to carry out a pre-termination inspection. This will usually be by a member of the Allocations and Voids team.

When you end your tenancy, you must make sure that your rent account is clear and up to date. If you are in arrears, you must contact us to make an agreement to clear the outstanding balance. If you owe repair recharges or alarm charges, you must clear these balances as well. If you do not do so, The Community Housing Group may pass the details of the arrears to a debt recovery agency who will recover the balance in full and you may incur further costs. Failing to clear your rent account can jeopardise your ability to obtain a tenancy within the social housing sector and any future references that you may require.

If you pay by Direct Debit DO NOT CANCEL YOUR DIRECT DEBIT. Your next direct debit payment may cover rent you owe. At the end of your tenancy your rent account will be checked and if we owe you money this will be refunded directly to your bank account. In these circumstances you will not be required to complete a refund form (the exception being where payment to next of kin is required).

If you pay by Standing Order, you will need to contact your bank to arrange a final payment and stop future payments being made. We cannot do this on your behalf. The Finance Department will be able to advise you of your final rent figure if you are unsure of how much you need to pay. If you have overpaid rent you will be required to complete a refund form to claim this back.

All other methods of payment – You need to ensure your rent is paid up to the end of your tenancy. If you are unsure of how much you need to pay the Finance Department will be able to assist you.

Unpaid rent (Arrears) – Your case WILL be referred to a debt collecting agency (bailiffs), if you do not pay all your rent. To prevent this action you need to make an arrangement with The Community Housing Group to clear the arrears. This can be a one off payment on an agreed date or in some cases instalments over a period of time. You will be required to pay by direct debit if paying by instalments.

Please remember your tenancy will only be ended once the keys have been returned to us. If you miss the deadline on your Notice to Quit date you will be charged another weeks rent which will alter your final rent payment.

When you signed your Tenancy Agreement you accepted that when you end the tenancy, you will leave the property in good order with no broken windows, damaged or missing fittings. If we do find any non-fair wear and tear damage you will receive a bill for rectifying this (See ‘Assured Tenancy Terms and Conditions’ and ‘Starter Tenancies Terms and Conditions’ Section 3.67).

If you have any rubbish or unwanted belongings, please contact Wyre Forest District Council (01562 732928) who will be able to advise you of the methods of collection available.

If you leave any rubbish or belongings once you have returned the keys to us The Community Housing Group will remove and dispose of these items. You will receive a bill to cover the cost of removal and disposal of these items. This also includes clearances of lofts and the removal of sheds and outhouses. (See’ Assured Tenancy Terms and Conditions’ and ‘Starter Tenancies Terms and Conditions’ Section 3.67).

If you have made any improvements and alterations to your home, you may receive a bill to cover the cost of putting things back to normal if these were not authorised by us or they are found to be in an unacceptable condition during the Pre- termination inspection. (See ‘Assured Tenancy Terms and Conditions and ‘Starter Tenancies Terms and Conditions’ Section 3.67).

If you are being offered other Company property and are accepting the offer the Allocating Officer will require you to complete a Notice to Quit form for your present home. As you may not have time to give a full four weeks’ notice, we will accept a Notice to Quit on your old home that coincides with the start of the tenancy on your new home. To help tenants who have problems with arranging removals, we may agree to postpone the Notice to Quit date for up to four weeks.

However, the rent will be payable on both properties during this ‘overlap’ period. IMPORTANT: If you receive Housing Benefit, you can apply to have Housing Benefit on both addresses. Please note however, that you must apply in writing to Wyre Forest District Council’s Benefits Section giving your reasons. Housing Benefit may be payable if you have moved to your new address but for some reason cannot empty the old one. It is rare that it will be paid if you have not moved to the new address.

You must hand in all keys to the property (normally a minimum of two keys for each lock plus security keys/ fobs for communal areas where applicable). The keys must be delivered to the reception at Community House, Stourport Road, Kidderminster by midday on the date on which your tenancy ends – which will be a Monday (See ‘Assured Tenancy Terms and Conditions’ and ‘Assured Shorthold Terms and Conditions’ Section 3.24).

We appreciate that this will be a very stressful and difficult time for a Next of Kin or Executor of the estate and that they will have a considerable number of organisations to contact and arrangements to make. Early contact with the Company is essential. However, although we have a policy to allow a reduced notice of period to TWO weeks (rather than the four weeks’ notice as specified in the Tenancy Agreement) it is not possible to reduce the notice period further.

When we are notified of the death of a tenant, we will make sure that a Notice to Quit form has been issued to the Next of Kin. However, this does not take away the responsibility from the Next of Kin or Executor who is legally responsible for providing the Company with two weeks’ notice in writing. (This condition applies even if the property has been cleared of belongings and the keys have been handed in within this period).

It is important to note that Housing Benefit regulations state that Housing Benefit will cease on the first Monday after the date of death.

Relatives of tenants who have died leaving no estate of insufficient means to meet the two weeks rent due, must advise us of this in writing at the earliest opportunity.

In these circumstances the debt will be written off.

If you are the Next of Kin and you (or some other member of the family) are living in the property, you may have a legal right to ‘succeed’ to the tenancy. If this is the case DO NOT COMPLETE A NOTICE TO QUIT. Please contact your Neighbourhood Officer for advice on what to do next.

If you are a joint tenant and no longer wish to be part of the tenancy DO NOT COMPLETE A NOTICE TO QUIT. In this instance you should Assign your tenancy to the remaining party. Please contact your Neighbourhood Officer for advice on what to do next.

If you also rent a Company owned garage and wish to end this tenancy as well, you need to complete a separate Notice to Quit. Please make sure you request a Garage Notice to Quit. You will need to give two weeks notice. Failure to terminate your garage will lead to unnecessary rent arrears accruing

Some tenants take the decision to end their tenancy without giving careful consideration to their future housing needs.

For example, if you are thinking about moving in with another person or relative for support, what will happen if the relationship breaks down or ends? Where would you live? Issues such as this need to be considered before ending your tenancy as leaving your tenancy now could be classed as making yourself intentionally homeless and may affect your chances of being offered a tenancy in the future.