What is Tenancy Surrender?

Tenancy surrender can be a tricky affair unless you go about it in the proper manner. There are three ways in which a tenancy can be terminated:

1.     End of Term – This happens naturally at the end of the stipulated period.

2.     Unilaterally – Notice is given from either side indicating that any one of them wishes to end the tenancy contract for any reason (should be mentioned in the tenancy agreement).

3.     Surrender – Both sides voluntarily agree to terminate the tenancy contract.

Things are a lot easier if both the landlord and the tenant have mutually agreed upon a tenancy that features a fixed term, with no specific clause for breaks in between for terminating the agreement at an earlier date. This way both the parties are bound by the contract and the tenancy can come to an end naturally once the specified course of time is completed. However, if a specific clause for early termination exists, it can be exercised by mutual agreement. Both parties need to surrender the tenancy, and upon surrender all obligations cease to exist on both sides.

Surrender by law

Based on a particular circumstance, both parties can imply a surrender, which is considered as surrender by law. In such cases, both the tenant and landlord can opt to enter into a new tenancy agreement based on terms that are different from what was entered into earlier. The tenant voluntarily gives up possession of the property, and the landlord needs to acknowledge the surrender by showing his willingness to accept the keys and complete the surrender. It is better to take the consent in writing from the tenant, lest he or she claims to have been evicted illegally.

Abandonment by tenant

Sometimes a tenant may quietly vacate the premises and walk away without uttering a word to the landlord. This may happen during the term or at the end of the term, and the tenant may have some dues pending. With no notice given, such acts by tenants can cause the landlords a lot of agony and problems.

Although abandonment implies surrender, the landlord cannot assume that the tenant has left for good. The tenant may have gone in a hurry due to some emergency, or a close relative or friend may have fallen ill, or the tenant himself may have been hospitalized. It is better to wait and watch the developments before trying to let out the premises to a new party.