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Ending a council tenancy

Ending your tenancy is a very important decision and should not be taken lightly. If you give up your council tenancy completely you may never get a secure tenancy again.

If you are ending a tenancy on behalf of a tenant who has died please see death of a tenant.

If you are considering giving up your home because you are struggling to pay your rent, are having problems at home or are not sure where you are going to move to, you should seek advice from your area housing office or independent legal advice. Council tenants can access free, independent legal advice through the Independent Advice Project and New Tenant Liaison Officers at your local area housing office can offer advice and support with ending your tenancy and moving out.

What do I need to do?

The tenancy agreement you signed when you were given the keys to your home is a legal contract and to end your tenancy you must:

  • Give us 4 weeks written notice
  • Ensure your home is clean, tidy and fit to re-let to somebody else
  • Pay any outstanding rent or other charges
  • Hand your keys into your Area Housing Office.

Give us notice

You must give us 4 weeks written notice by completing a Notice of Termination of Tenancy form available from your Area Housing Office (if you are transferring to another Islington Council property you do not have to provide 4 weeks notice)

  • If you move out without giving four weeks written notice you will be charged a minimum of four weeks rent, this could be more if it takes us longer to regain possession of your home.
  • Handing in the keys without giving us written notice does not end your tenancy and you will continue to be charged full rent.
  • Handing in your keys during the four week notice period will not end your tenancy any earlier and you will be charged rent until the end of the four week notice period.

Ensure your home is clean and tidy

Your home, balcony or garden and any storage spaces are clean, tidy and in good condition before you move out.   We will not be responsible for anything you leave in the property when you move out.

You must remove all your personal belongings and any rubbish before returning your keys.  If you have bulky items of rubbish, unwanted furniture or white goods you wish to dispose of talk to your area housing office.

You will be recharged the full cost if we have to repair or replace any of the fixture and fittings in your home which have been damaged or are missing when you move out.

Pay any outstanding rent or other charges

Your rent account must be cleared before your tenancy ends. If you are having difficulty paying your rent arrears, contact the Income Recovery Officer at your local area housing office - we do not want you to get into debt and will help you sort out the problem.

If you are claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit you must inform them that you are moving out. When you move out your housing and council tax benefit will stop immediately. If your tenancy has not formally ended you will continue to be charged full rent and could incur unwanted debt. For more advice about your housing benefit claim go to Housing Benefits.

If you leave without clearing your rent arrears and make no arrangement to repay them with us we will make every effort to trace you using debt collection agencies if appropriate and may seek a Court Order against you. If the Court grants us a Court Order against you, you will be liable to pay our Court costs and you will find it more difficult to access credit in the future.

Return your keys

You must hand two full sets of keys into the reception area at your local area housing office to formally end your tenancy without incurring extra costs.

The receptionist will give you a receipt for the keys. Make sure it has the date and time on it and keep it safe as it is proof you have handed in your keys.

The keys you hand in should include all door and window keys to your home, any fob or communal keys and any keys to any store cupboards.

If you have any gas or electricity keys or cards please leave these behind in the property.

Please note:  Your keys must be handed into reception before 12pm on the Monday following the end of your tenancy. If your keys are received any time after this you will be charged another full week’s rent.

Further information

For any further information about ending your tenancy and moving out please contact the New Tenant Liaison Officer at your area housing office.

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