Can a Tenant Leave Early?

24th May 2023
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As a landlord, when a tenant expresses their desire to leave before the end of their rental agreement, it can present several challenges if you decide to grant their request. It is crucial to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a landlord before making a decision. Consider the following steps to take when a tenant wants to terminate their rental contract early:

Is early termination possible?

Yes, a tenant can request early termination, but ultimately, the landlord has the final say. If the landlord agrees to terminate the tenancy early, certain protective measures should be implemented to minimise the risks.

Key provisions to consider when a tenant wants to leave early:

Ensuring rent payments

The tenant should continue paying rent in advance from the due date until a new tenant assumes occupancy. If there is an overpayment, such as in the case of a mid-month move, a refund should be issued.

Utility bills

The tenant is responsible for paying all utility bills and council tax until the day a new tenant takes over the property.

Allowing last-minute viewings

By granting permission for immediate viewings, the tenant can assist in finding a replacement quickly.

Re-letting costs

The current tenant should cover the costs associated with re-letting the property on behalf of the landlord.

Existing agreement

The existing tenancy agreement should only terminate once a new tenant signs a tenancy agreement and pays their check-in fee.

Pros and cons of early contract termination

Allowing tenants to end their contract early is a decision solely up to the landlord, and it carries both advantages and disadvantages. For instance:


  • This presents an opportunity to secure new tenants who may be interested in a longer lease, providing you with increased stability.


  • Managing your relationship with the tenant might become more challenging if they have to remain in the property, potentially leading to rent payment delays and neglect of property upkeep.

Ultimately, each situation is unique and requires careful consideration. Landlords should ensure they are familiar with the laws regarding early lease termination and discuss any arrangements thoroughly with their tenants before reaching an agreement.

If you require assistance in managing your property and seek guidance in situations like this, consider contacting a letting agent at your nearest branch. They can provide valuable support and expertise.

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