Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Student Advice and Support Service

Housing

Ending your tenancy

There are various ways that your tenancy might be ended:

By the tenant

At the end of the fixed term

Check your contract to see whether you need to give formal notice to end your tenancy. If no notice is required you can move out at the end of your fixed term. If notice is required, follow the procedure set out in your contract.

Should you stay beyond the end of the fixed term, even for a day, your tenancy will automatically roll over. Your tenancy will continue to run from month to month or week to week, and you will continue to be liable to pay rent. You will then need to give notice to end your tenancy.

You want to leave early

Normally, once you have signed a fixed term contract, you will remain liable for the rent until the end of the agreed tenancy period. Your right to end your tenancy early is limited:

  • Some fixed term contracts contain a ‘break clause’, allowing you to terminate the tenancy, and your obligations under it, by giving notice (for example 4 weeks or 1 month).
  • You may be able to end your tenancy if you can prove that your landlord has committed a ‘fundamental breach’ of contract, for example by failing to deal with serious disrepair. Situations like falling out with housemates, the house being burgled, and minor disrepair problems would not normally constitute a ‘fundamental breach’. This is a complex legal area – get advice.
  • Your landlord/agent may voluntarily release you from your contract. This may involve you paying an agreed sum of money (less than what you owe) to your landlord as a final settlement.
  • Finding a replacement. If you have a joint tenancy and you want to leave before the fixed-term has ended you will need the consent of the other joint tenants and the landlord to end the contract. The landlord, the other joint tenants and any replacement tenant(s), should then agree a new joint tenancy.

If you have a separate tenancy of a room in a shared house or flat and you find a reasonable replacement, you should be able to leave the property free of any further obligations. You should ask the landlord to agree to ‘surrender’ the tenancy. The Student Advice and Support Service has a ‘Deed of surrender’ form that can be used for this purpose.

If you leave the property before finding a replacement you will remain liable for the rent until a replacement is found, but the landlord does have a responsibility to make reasonable efforts to find another tenant.

By the landlord

Tenants have ‘security of tenure’. This means that during the first six months of the tenancy, or during the initial fixed term (if there is one), whichever is the longer, you cannot be evicted or forced to leave by the landlord unless:

  • The landlord has specific legal ‘grounds.’ e.g. if you break one or more of the terms of the tenancy agreement, and;
  • You are given the correct notice, and;
  • The landlord obtains a court order.

At the end of any fixed term, your landlord can obtain a court order to have you evicted, without needing any ‘grounds,’ although your landlord will still have to give you proper notice – a section 21 notice. If you receive any type of notice please seek advice.

By a mortgage lender

If the landlord has fallen behind with mortgage payments on your tenanted property, the mortgage lender (usually a bank or building society) may repossess the property.

You may be able to remain in the property if the lender permitted the landlord to grant the tenancy or if your tenancy pre-dated the mortgage agreement. Most commonly the tenancy is not binding on the lender and the tenant has to leave, but you can ask the court to delay any eviction for up to two months. If you receive any notice please seek advice.

You can also read about ending your tenancy in the following extract from our “Guide to living off campus” (click on the image below).