Ending your tenancy

Ending your tenancy

If you have a lease agreement normally you cannot terminate your tenancy unless your landlord is in breach of his/her obligations, there is a break clause in your lease or both you and your landlord agree at the time to end the tenancy. If you break a lease without having reasonable grounds to do so or do not give the correct notice of termination, you do not automatically lose your deposit however your landlord may seek to make deductions from or keep your deposit to cover expenses such as re-advertising, re-letting costs or lost rent.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a tenant can request permission to assign or sublet a tenancy. If your landlord refuses, you may terminate the tenancy even if you have a fixed term lease. (See Getting Someone to Replace You).

Where you wish to end your tenancy you must give notice of termination in writing. (Email, text or verbal notice is not valid under the law). The amount of notice you are required to give depends on how long you have been in your tenancy. The normal notice periods are:

Duration of TenancyNotice Period
 Less than 6 months28 days
Not less than 6 months but less than 1 year35 days
More than 1 year but less than 2  years42 days
More than 2 years but less than 4 years56 days
More than 4 years but less than 8 years84 days
8 years or more112 days


In some situations shorter notice periods may be given:

- 7 days if the behaviour of the landlord poses a threat of injury to a tenant or danger to the dwelling.
- If your landlord is in breach of their obligations, you must notify them of the problem in writing and give a reasonable opportunity to correct it; if it continues you can serve a minimum of 28 days' notice in writing.

For a notice of termination to be valid it must:
- Be in writing (Email, text, verbal notice are not valid)
- Specify the date of service
- State that any issue as to the validity of the notice must be referred to the Residential Tenancies Board(RTB) within 28 days of receipt of it.

 The RTB have a sample notice on their website that you can use click here to access them.

Your written notice can be served on your landlord/agent in a number of ways including:

Leaving it at the address provided by the landlord/agent for you to reasonably contact them

Personally handing it  to the landlord/agent

Sending through the normal post (There is no need for registered post) and the presumption is that it is received through the normal course of delivery (usually this is the next day)


A deposit cannot be used in lieu of rent and you are liable for paying the rent up to the end of the notice period unless otherwise agreed with your landlord/agent. It is recommended to give notice in  such a way that it ends with the end of a rental period.

What to do

  • Ensure you terminate your tenancy in writing (Email, text or verbal notice are not valid) and give the correct notice period - use the template letter in the Useful Downloads section on this page
  • Keep a copy of the written notice of termination
  • If you need further advice contact Threshold.