Tenancy Documents

Surrendering your tenancy early

Sometimes as a tenant, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to end your tenancy early, but you're in a fixed term agreement. So is it possible to break your contract early? 

The short answer is yes, but only if your landlord agrees to the surrender of the tenancy. In almost all cases, this would mean the landlord would have additional costs to face as they would have to market the property to find new tenants, and possible void periods. This is something they want to avoid, and so quite often would agreed to end the tenancy early, provided these costs are covered by the tenant. 

Put simply, the tenant would be responsible for the landlords fees, and would be responsible for the rent up until the day before new tenants move in. 

There is a clause in our tenancy agreements which makes provisions for this potential situation which reads:

7.7 Should the Tenant wish to leave the property before the agreed termination date as set out in this agreement and the Landlord or his Agent agree in writing to a voluntary surrender of the lease subject to the terms set out herein then the Tenant shall be responsible for the rent and all other obligations as set out in this agreement until such time as a new tenant shall be found, approved and a new lease commenced and in addition shall be responsible for the payment of the Landlord's agreed letting agent's fees the amount to be advised. The Tenant will be responsible for the rent due and all other obligations under the terms of this agreement if the termination date set out in this agreement has been reached before a new tenant has been found and approved and a new tenancy agreement has been entered into; in which case the agent's fee will be refunded to the Tenant.

Once this surrender has been agreed in writing, we will then begin to market the property in the hope we can secure new tenants for you. You would still be responsible to pay the rent, even if you had vacated the property up until the day before a new tenancy starts, or the end of the tenancy, which ever is sooner. 

Changes to Section 21 Notices

 

As part of the deregulation Act 2015, there are a number of other important changes which all take effect from the 1st October 2015 specifically in the restrictions on serving Section 21 Notices. These restrictions however only affect tenancies created on or after 1st October 2015. All remaining assured shorthold tenancies in England will be swept under the new rulers on 1st October 2018.

The changes

  • The document previously used for Section 21 Notices will no longer be valid and a new template notice will have to be used.
  • Section 21 Notices now cannot be issued in the first 4 months of a tenancy.
  • In the event that a tenant has paid an amount of rent in advance and a Section 21 Notice requires them to leave during the period paid for, the tenant is entitled to a refund of rent paid for the days they are not occupying the property.
  • Section 21 Notice will only be valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
  • For a Section 21 Notice to be valid, they must have provided tenants with the following at the start of the tenancy:
    • A Gas Safety Certificate (if required)
    • An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
    • The Department for communities and Local Government “How to Rent – The checklist for renting in England” which can be downloaded by clicking here

What we’re doing to make sure you’re covered

We’ve amended our tenancy information pack we provide to new tenants to include the required documentation as set out in this new legislation. We provide this document together with the tenancy agreement and inventory. As part of the check in process, prior to handing over any keys, we ask for all occupants’ signatures to verify they have received all the documents the landlord must legally provide. Then once you issue a Section 21 Notice, if its eligibility is brought into question, the signed tenancy information pack can prove the tenants have received the necessary documentation.