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How to end a fixed term tenancy early

What is a fixed term tenancy?

A fixed term tenancy is an agreement that you will rent your home for a set amount of time.

You are responsible for rent until the fixed term ends unless you can end the tenancy early.

This applies to any:

  • fixed term tenancy you agree to before you move in

  • replacement fixed term tenancy you sign after you move in

Periodic or rolling tenancies

You probably have this type of tenancy if your fixed term has ended and you have not signed a replacement tenancy, or you had a rolling contract from the start.

Periodic or rolling tenancies are ended in a different way.

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

  • agree an early end to the tenancy with your landlord

You could be responsible for rent until a new tenant moves in if you do not end your tenancy in one of these ways.

What to do if you cannot move in

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

There is no 'cooling off period' for tenancies. If you change your mind, you only have the right to unwind your contract if you were misled.

The landlord might agree to release you from the contract if you have a good reason. For example:

  • you will not be able to afford the rent

  • you are no longer moving to an area for work or university

You're responsible for rent from the tenancy start date unless the landlord agrees to release you from the tenancy agreement.

Your tenancy ends automatically if the landlord moves a new tenant into the property.

Last updated: 17 July 2024

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