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notice to quit

The formal notification from a landlord to a tenant (or vice versa) terminating the tenancy on a specified date. The notice must be clear and unambiguous and it must terminate the tenancy in relation to the whole of the rented property: a notice to quit part of the property can be valid only if specifically allowed by the tenancy. When the tenant lives in the rented property, the notice to quit must be in a statutory form that tells the tenant his legal rights. Otherwise no particular form is required for a notice to quit.

The period of notice varies according to the kind of tenancy and any agreement between the parties. In the case of periodic tenancies for which no period has been agreed the following periods apply: a yearly or longer tenancy - six months; a monthly tenancy - one month; a quarterly tenancy - one quarter; a weekly tenancy - one week. The notice must be given so that it expires at the end of one of the periods of the tenancy, for example in a yearly tenancy beginning on 1 January, the notice must expire on 31 December. If tenants have statutory protection this can affect the length of the notice to quit. Thus residential tenants must be given at least four weeks’ notice, tenants of *agricultural holdings must be given a year’s notice, and tenants of *business tenancies are entitled to at least six months’ notice. In these cases a tenant may be entitled to continue in occupation of the rented property even after the notice to quit has expired. If the landlord treats the tenancy as continuing after the notice to quit has expired, a new tenancy may be created.

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