What happens if a tenant wants to leave early?

As a landlord, having a tenant ask to leave before the end of their rental agreement can pose several challenges, should you agree to allow them to do so. It's important to understand your rights and obligations as a landlord before you make a decision, and you can do this by exploring these steps to take when a tenant wants to leave before the end of their rental contract.

Can a tenant leave early?

Yes, a tenant can request an early termination, but ultimately it is the landlord's decision. If the landlord does agree to terminate the tenancy early certain protective stipulations need to be in place to minimise risks.

Provisions to implement when a tenant wants to leave early:

1. Secure rent payments

The tenant needs to pay rent in advance from the due date until a new tenant claims residence. In the event of an overpayment, in the case of a mid-month move, for example, a refund would be issued.

2. Utility bills

The tenant shall pay all utility bills and council tax up to and including, the day until a new tenant occupies the property.

3. Agree to last-minute viewings

By agreeing to allow immediate viewings to take place, the tenant will be helping when it comes to quickly finding a replacement.

4. Costs of re-letting the property

The current tent will need to immediately bear the cost of re-letting the property on behalf of the landlord.

5. Existing agreement

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

Pros and cons of allowing a tenant to end their contract early

Allowing tenants to leave early is a decision that lies completely with the landlord and it can come with both advantages and disadvantages. For example …


●       This could be a great opportunity for you to secure new tenants who may require a longer lease and provide you with more stability.


●       Managing your relationship with the tenant may become more difficult if they have to remain in the property, which could result in delays in rent payments and neglect to look after the property.

Ultimately, every situation is different and requires careful consideration. Landlords should ensure they are familiar with the laws surrounding the early termination of a lease and discuss any arrangements thoroughly with their tenants before agreeing.

If you're looking for a letting agent to help you manage your property and provide guidance when situations like this occur, then contact your nearest branch and find out more about our lettings packages.

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