When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Leaving tenancy early

Tenants who are subject to a fixed term agreement should not move out until that term has passed. However, that may not stop a tenant trying to leave the property before the term expires. If this happens, it may be best to negotiate an exit agreement with your tenant that reimburses you for any out of pocket costs.

Tenants should usually tell you in writing if they're planning on moving out. They may not have to do this if they're leaving at the end of their contract. You'll need to arrange a time to inspect the property, return the deposit and decide whether to rent the property again or not. 

You have to let your landlord know if you want to move out of your rented home. The law says you do this in writing a certain amount of time before the date you move out. This written notice is called a "notice to quit". 

Landlords should also give tenants written notice to quit if they want a tenant to move out. 

You will have a joint tenancy if someone else's name is on the tenancy agreement as well as your own. Most joint tenancy agreements have joint and several liability. This means you are responsible for 

  • your action and 
  • the actions of everyone else 

If one tenant moves out and stops paying rent the landlord can make the rest of you pay extra rent to cover this loss.  

There are many reasons why you may want to leave a tenancy early. However, unless there is a clause allowing you to do so in your tenancy agreement, it can be difficult to leave once you’ve signed a rental contract.

Moving home is stressful. Once you’ve given your landlord Notice to Quit, you should start planning your move. You need to think about disconnecting your utilities and finding alternative accommodation.

Most tenants pay a security deposit when they move into a property. This is the tenant's money and should be returned at the end of the tenancy unless the tenant owes the landlord money. The deposit should be returned in full unless the landlord has suffered a genuine financial loss as a result of your actions. If your landlord has unfairly kept some of your deposit you should try to get this money back.

A tenancy agreement is a legal contract. It's very hard to get out of a tenancy agreement early. It's best to negotiate with your landlord to see if they will let you leave early. 

You may be able to end your tenancy early if the contract includes a break clause.  These are rare and may come with conditions attached.  Check your tenancy agreement carefully to see if it allows you to leave before the end date.


Subscribe to RSS - Leaving tenancy early Subscribe to Leaving tenancy early