How to end a joint tenancy
Your options depend on if you have a:
fixed term contract
rolling or periodic tenancy
If you split up with your partner and decide you do not want to live together anymore, make sure you know your rights.
Moving out during the fixed term
The tenancy continues if you move out without ending the fixed term.
Your landlord could still ask you to pay rent even if you're living somewhere else.
You could get out of a fixed term tenancy early if you can:
use a break clause to give notice
negotiate an early end to the tenancy with your landlord
unwind the contract because you were misled
To use any of these options, all of the joint tenants must agree.
Find a replacement tenant
This can be a good option if you want to leave early but other tenants want to stay.
Your landlord and all joint tenants need to agree to a replacement tenant.
Make sure everyone signs a new agreement without your name on it.
The replacement tenant should pay any deposit to the landlord, not to you.
If you all move out by the end of the fixed term
The tenancy will usually end for everyone if you all leave by the last day of the fixed term.
Some contracts say you have to give your landlord notice if you're going to do this. So check your agreement a few months before you plan to leave.
If anyone stays on after the fixed term ends
The joint tenancy continues as a rolling or periodic tenancy if at least one joint tenant stays on after the fixed term ends.
This means that everyone is still responsible for rent - even those who have moved out.
If you have moved out, you have 2 options that can end your joint tenancy and your responsibility for rent.
Ask the remaining tenants to sign a new tenancy agreement with the landlord without your name on it. This is usually the best option for everyone.
Give a 'notice to quit' to the landlord.
This ends your joint periodic tenancy and ongoing responsibility for rent.
You do not need permission from the other tenants or the landlord to do this.
It could leave your former housemates in a difficult position because their tenancy will also end when your notice ends.
If the landlord accepts rent from them or they sign a new agreement, then they will have a new tenancy and can stay on.
Last updated: 22 February 2023