How to end a joint tenancy

If you need to leave a joint tenancy, make sure you discuss the situation with all joint tenants before making a decision. Your actions directly affect them.

Check if you're a joint tenant

You'll have a joint tenancy if there's more than one named tenant on your agreement.

Leaving a fixed term tenancy early

All joint tenants must be in agreement to end a fixed term tenancy early. If you all agree, you could either:

  • use a break clause to give notice
  • negotiate with the landlord to end it early

If you can't do this, your tenancy won't legally end and you may still be pursued for rent if you leave.

At the end of the fixed term contract

The end of a fixed term contract won't always mean that your tenancy and rental liability ends - even if you move out.

If you all leave by the last day of the fixed term

If all joint tenants leave by the last day of the fixed term contract, this usually means that the tenancy and rental liability ends for everyone.

Check your agreement for any terms about giving notice to leave when the fixed term ends.

If some tenants want to stay

Even if you no longer live in the property, you can still be liable for rent until the tenancy is legally ended.

The tenancy will automatically continue if some tenants stay on after the fixed term ends, even if other joint tenants have moved out.

Replacement tenants

Finding a replacement tenant can be a good option if you want to leave but other tenants want to stay.

Your landlord and all joint tenants need to agree before any new tenants can move in.

If you reach an agreement for a new tenant to take over, make sure they sign a new tenancy agreement with the tenants who are staying on.

Ending a joint periodic tenancy

You can serve a notice to end the tenancy. You don't need permission from the other tenants.

When the notice ends, the tenancy and the right to live in the property will end for all tenants.

Any tenants who want to stay on at the property need to try and arrange a new tenancy agreement with the landlord.

If you have a joint tenancy agreement with more than 4 named tenants, your rights to serve a notice could be different.

Get help from a Shelter adviser if you're in this situation.

Last updated 24 May 2019 | © Shelter

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