A tenant requesting to leave before the end of the tenancy can cause all kinds of stress. In this article we will share some suggestions of what can be done in this situation.
After marketing your property for rent and going through the process of viewings, applications and references, you can finally rest easy, knowing that you’ve chosen a great tenant for your home and they are happy and settling in. You have signed a 12-month contract with them, so you know you won’t have to go through this process again for at least 12 months and can relax a little.
Until you hear from your tenant out of the blue. Something’s come up, and now they want to move out long before the contract expires.
What should you do?
Do you have to go through the whole process again?
And it can be a terrible blow financially; after a few months with the property vacant and then the fees to set the new tenancy up, you have barely got the property back to a break-even point before going through the process all over again.
So, what should you do? Do you have to allow the tenant to leave early? If yes, what is the point of a fixed contract in the first place?
This article will explore the options available to you to help you decide the next steps that are right for you, your property and your tenant.
- Contractually your tenant has agreed to pay the rent
This can be every month, as the contract states, or they could buy themselves out of the contract by paying the amount owed in one go.
- You could agree
A contract can be ended by agreement, so if you agree, the tenancy can be terminated at any time. Of course, if you simply agree to end the contract, you’ll be at a disadvantage, with renewal fees to pay, so it might be a good idea to negotiate a deal with the tenant?
Perhaps you can come to an agreement whereby the tenant gives 1 months’ notice and then pays all or a proportion of the renewal costs so that you can find a replacement tenant without incurring unnecessary charges?
- Re-assign the agreement
On very rare occasions, you could re-assign the agreement. This means the tenant has found someone else to rent the property in their place. Not the same as a sub-let because the outgoing tenant wouldn’t want to continue responsibility for the property and the new tenant, but if they had a friend that could move into the property in their place, the contract could effectively be swapped over. There would still need to be acceptable references and a new tenancy agreement. Still, it would allow your tenant to leave early, and you are in the same position, simply with a different person living in the property.
It can be hard to hear that you have to deal with this situation, particularly when you thought everything was fine and wouldn’t have to think about it again for at least a year. But, sometimes, life gets in the way of the best-laid plans, and your tenant has to leave. There are ways to deal with it so that no one loses out; you’re not left without the income you are owed, and your tenant isn’t forced to pay for a property they can’t live in.
A bit of practical problem-solving, and everyone can come out as a winner!
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