How to end a fixed term tenancy early

Who this guide is for

Our advice guide is for private renters who:

  • want to leave a fixed term tenancy early

  • have already left early and want to end their responsibility for rent

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.

Many tenants have fixed term tenancies when they first move in. Some sign replacement fixed term tenancies.

You probably have a periodic tenancy if your fixed term has ended already, or you had a rolling contract from the start.

Read this guide instead if you have a rolling or periodic tenancy.

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 an early end to your contract

  • have the right to unwind your contract because you were misled

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

If you've not moved in yet

There is no 'cooling off period' for tenancies. If you've changed you mind, you will have to negotiate unless you can show you were misled.

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

The landlord might be more willing to release you from the contract if the tenancy has not started yet.

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

Last updated: 27 September 2022

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