Ending a tenancy

If a tenant wants to leave a council-owned property, or if it is no longer required because the only occupant has died, then there are certain procedures which need to be followed to end the tenancy.

Giving notice

Under normal circumstances, you must give the council four weeks' notice if you want to end (terminate) your tenancy. A shorter termination period may be considered in very special circumstances.

The notice period does not apply if the reason for ending the tenancy is the death of the tenant.

All tenancies start and end on a Monday, so the four-week notice period will start on the first Monday after we receive your notice.

How to end the tenancy

You will need to complete a Termination of Council Tenancy form (PDF).

The form also contains information about how you can obtain advice through independent housing advice agencies.

What happens next

When we have received your form, we will send a building surveyor to check your home.

You should ensure that you leave the property in a clean condition and in a reasonable state of repair. If it’s not, we will charge you for cleaning or repairing costs incurred, after you have left the property.

On the last day in your home please ensure the following:

  • all belongings are removed
  • nobody is left in residence
  • the property is clean and tidy
  • your gas, electricity and water reading is given to the relevant companies
  • you have turned off the gas, electricity and water supplies as appropriate
  • if necessary, you have given the Housing Benefits Section your new address
  • if necessary, you have given the Council Tax Section your new address

Returning keys

It is always best to return the key in person to the Swindon Direct One Stop Shop. This should be done before 2.00pm on the date of the termination. For details of the location and opening hours, go to the Contact Us webpage.

If you are unable to return the keys in person, then please send them to us by recorded delivery.

We will not be able to terminate your property until we receive the keys; and you will continue to be charged rent. The termination date will be at the end of the week in which the keys are received.

Ending a tenancy because of the death of a tenant

In the event of the death of a tenant, the normal four-week notice period does not apply.

If you are acting on behalf of a deceased tenant, you will need to complete the Termination of Council Tenancy form above and return the keys as described above. You will also need to send us a copy of the death certificate.

Further information to help you in this circumstance is available in the following document:

Housing benefit ends immediately upon death and full rent is then payable from that point. If there are rent arrears outstanding following termination, the Former Tenancy Officer will contact the executor or estate.

Further information

If you need further guidance or support with ending your tenancy agreement, please make an enquiry to your Neighbourhood Housing Officer

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