Leaving the property early

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract. Once you sign a tenancy you are obliged to continue paying rent until either:

  • You and the landlord agree to end the contract early
  • The contract comes to its natural end
  • The property is no longer available to you

If a landlord/agent won’t agree to release you from your contract early, then, you will be responsible for the payment of rent for the rest of the tenancy period.

Can I just move out?

You cannot simply end the agreement unless the following apply:

The property is unfit to live in 
Note: This would have to be proven. It will be determined by the Environmental Health Officer from the Local Authority.

You were given misleading information or pressured to take the tenancy
Note: This would have to be proven. 

Please make an appointment at the Student Hub if you are experiencing any of the above.

Ways you can leave a property early

Break Clause

You may be able to end your tenancy early if the contract includes a break clause. Check the conditions within your tenancy agreement to see if it allows you to leave before the end date.

Note: If you are in a joint fixed term tenancy and you initiate the break clause then all occupiers of the accommodation will have to leave; you cannot use the break clause if only one person wants to leave.

Assigning a replacement tenant

A landlord or agent may consider releasing you from your contract if you find a replacement tenant. 

  • It is your responsibility to find a replacement tenant and the remaining tenants must agree
  • If your landlord refuses to consent to an assignment, this may be classed as unfair
  • There may be a fee for this but landlords cannot charge unreasonable fees, this should be around £50
  • The assignment must be recorded in writing by ‘Deed’ and signed by the landlord and all the tenants

You will remain liable for the rent until the replacement tenant takes over. Your deposit should be returned once it has been established by the landlord that you shouldn’t have any deductions and the replacement tenant has moved in and paid their deposit

Warning: If a new tenancy is not drawn up and the replacement tenant does not pay the rent or defaults on the agreement, then you will still be liable.


This is when you find a replacement tenant for your room but you continue to make payments to your landlord.

We do not encourage subletting as this can lead to complications such as: property disputes, issues with utilities, no legal protections, insurance problems, surprise roommates and bad behaviour.

Warning: You must get consent from your landlord and housemates before sub-letting.


A surrender is a voluntary agreement between the landlord and tenant that the tenancy has come to an end. A surrender will terminate the tenancy, whether it is fixed-term or periodic. It must be agreed by ‘Deed’. 

The deed must be signed by both landlord and tenant.

A landlord/agent may charge a fee if the tenant/licensee asks to surrender their tenancy/licence. There are restrictions on what can be charged.