Have to move out of a 12-month contract flat


I signed a 12-month contract for my current flat last November. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to move away from my current city in late April - early May. I asked my property agent about this and he said that there is no break clause in my contract. He also told me to find a replacement for my contract and I will not get my deposit back. Therefore, I just want to ask:

  1. Is a break clause for a 12-month contract mandatory? I’ve looked at my contract and there is no break clause in it.
  2. Is there any way I can get my deposit back? The last time I took over another person’s contract back in uni, that person could still get his deposit back from the landlord.


  1. No, they are not mandatory.
  2. The landlord cannot receive rent twice (from both you and the new tenant) so in theory, you will stop paying rent once a replacement tenant has moved in. Your deposit may be used to pay rent up until this point.

I would suggest offering to help the agent to find a replacement tenant to move in as soon as possible.

Hi Mita,

Thanks for answering the question. Sorry still not very clear about the second point. I am still paying rent until a replacement tenant is found. However, when the replacement tenant pays the deposit to the estate agent, theoretically do I get my deposit back from the estate agent?

If you move out let’s say 1st May and stop paying rent at that point, and, for example, the replacement tenant moved in on 1st June, your deposit will be used to pay the rent from 1st May to 1st June. Since this is close to the 5 week rent cap on the deposit amount, it’s unlikely you will get any deposit back.

If you move out on 1st May and a replacement tenant was able to move in immediately, on the 2nd May for example, you may get some of your deposit back. I say “some” because the agent can still deduct from the deposit ”reasonable costs” associated with the early termination. They will need to evidence these costs to be able to deduct them from the deposit.

The deposit is your money so the agent can’t hold onto it without your consent and without good reason. If you say no, then they have to use the deposit scheme to arbitrate. If you’ve paid rent right up to the date a new tenant moves in then the only extra funds they can take from you are for damage or cleaning that they can prove or the their administration costs in changing the tenancy, which is likely to be a maximum of £50 under the Tenant Fees Act. The rest of the deposit must be returned to you.

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Can I ask which area is this property as I’m looking for a property to rent.
Thank you

Good afternoon.

Thank you for all the answers. Really appreciate it.

It’s in Salford, near Manchester.

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