As a letting agent in Bishop’s Stortford, this is something I come across a lot. Your tenant signs a 12 month tenancy agreement, moves in and then perhaps months later, they want to leave early and be released from their contract. I am sure no landlord wants to be unhelpful, and often my landlords try to work out an amicable solution.
Here are your options if your tenant asks to break their tenancy agreement early:
- Say no – you can legally “stick to your guns” and hold your tenant to the agreement. They’ve legally committed to the agreement you have in place and so you’re well within your rights to simply say no and ask them to continue with the rest of the term. They are still legally responsible for paying the rent up until the end of the fixed term.
- Simply allow them to leave – sometimes landlords decide it’s simply easier to let a tenant go than argue the toss. Perhaps they wonder if in anger the tenant may start to be difficult, not pay rent, not take care of the property etc. There is absolutely no excuse for this and the tenant has a legal responsibility still, but this is something that landlords do consider. You could just let them break the contract, move out, and you swallow the additional costs.
- Ask them to cover costs – another option, which is generally the one most landlords choose, is to allow the tenant to leave but on the basis that 1) a replacement tenant is found by the letting agency first and 2) they pay the additional (reasonable) costs incurred by the landlord such as (but not limited to); inventory, referencing and tenant find fee etc. Despite the tenant fee ban that’s now in place, this is possible and a separate issue entirely.
If you have an issue with a tenant or questions about this blog, then feel free to contact me, I am always happy to chat – 01279 940840 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Westgarth – letting agent in Bishop’s Stortford and Braintree