How to end a fixed term tenancy early

Use this guide if you:

  • want to leave a fixed term tenancy early
  • have already left early and want to end your liability for rent

It has been updated following the coronavirus outbreak

Read this information instead if you have a periodic or rolling tenancy. You probably have a periodic tenancy if your most recent tenancy agreement doesn't have an end date or that date has passed. 

When you can end a fixed term early

You can end a fixed term tenancy early if you either:

  • use a break clause in your contract
  • negotiate a surrender with your landlord

You remain liable for rent if you don't end the tenancy in one of these ways.

If you've not moved in yet

You still have a contract with the landlord even if you've not moved in to the property.

There's no 'cooling off period' for tenancies so you'll probably have to negotiate.

Your landlord might be more willing to release you from the contract if the tenancy hasn't started yet.

For example, if you were going to move to a new area for work but your plans have changed because of coronavirus.

Find out if you can end the tenancy before you move in.

Last updated 25 September 2020 | © Shelter

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