How to end a fixed term tenancy early

Options if you can't get out of your contract

You may decide to:

  • leave early anyway

  • wait until the end of the fixed term

  • stay and negotiate a rent reduction

Leave early anyway

You may decide that you need to leave anyway even though you can't end your fixed term tenancy early. You may have already left.

Your tenancy will end automatically if the landlord lets the property to someone else. Once a new tenancy begins, you're no longer liable for rent.

You can help your landlord find a new tenant more quickly if you: 

  • return the keys to them

  • explain that you've left and can't pay rent

  • remove your belongings and leave the property in good condition

You are still liable for rent until the property is let to new tenants unless you can use a break clause or agree a surrender. Continue to negotiate after you leave.

Find out about the risks of leaving without ending your tenancy legally.

Wait until the end of the fixed term

Many tenancies end automatically if everyone leaves by the last day of the fixed term.

Some fixed term contracts continue as periodic tenancies unless you give notice to say you're leaving.

Joint tenancies usually:

  • end if everybody leaves by the last day 

  • continue if any joint tenants stay on without signing a new agreement

Find out more about options at the end of a fixed term.

Stay and negotiate a rent reduction

If you decide to stay, you may be able to negotiate a rent reduction.

Use our template to negotiate a rent reduction during the coronavirus outbreak if you've had an income drop and can't afford your rent.

You might also be able to negotiate a rent reduction if repairs are causing problems.

It's important to continue paying as much rent as you can afford to. 

Find out how to deal with rent arrears.

Last updated: 24 September 2020

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