Help! Tenants just signed the contract and now want to cancel


I just rented a property through open rent, the tenants paid the deposit and first months rent, signed the contract and now have the keys.
They messaged me saying there’s a few things which need fixing, which there is, just minor things like light fitting loose. I told her the handyman is coming this week, whenever is a convenient time for her

Then she said she has made the wrong decision this is effecting her mental heath and has been crying

I asked what exactly is the problem apart from the minor things which are being fixed this week and her response was she is still paying rent on her previous property and she cant afford both and she has post natal depression and being back at work is effecting her and she’s in a really bad place (she also has a husband, joint tenant who works too)

Before I rented to get I agreed to reduce the rent for this tenant and buy white goods

A few days ago she was almost begging me for rent it to her

So in this situation can the tenancy be cancelled? If so do I keep the deposit? Does she get the first months rent back? Or can she not get out of the tenancy agreement now that its signed?

just let her go and start again , get it in writing.

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This sounds rather suspicious
Is she going to steal the white goods ?
Do a deed of surrender
Do it legally so you are covered
It’s £50 plus vat from a solicitor and they will tell you the procedure
You can keep the rent and the deposit as terms of the surrender
You have spent a lot of money for this tenancy and gone through the headache for nothing

Legally she has committed to the AST so she is bound for the duration so keeping a month and the deposit you are doing them a favour

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Hi @Gemma18,

We’re really sorry to hear that your new tenancy isn’t going well. I can see that you have contacted our customer support team directly and a member of the team will get back to you today.

@Colin3 and @A_A are right when they say that if the tenancy is no longer going ahead, or if you agree that the tenant can move out early, then you should ensure that all parties sign a legally enforceable surrender document. This document should include the point the contract ends and clearly state what is to happen to all the funds paid in relation to the tenancy. While you may be entitled to claim funds from the tenant, due to the tenancy not proceeding, you may also want to consider the tenant’s situation and also consider the quickest route to resolution for everyone.

We have a full guide on surrendering tenancies on the OpenRent Landlord Hub: Surrendering a Tenancy Agreement by Mutual Consent | OpenRent Landlord Hub

As an OpenRent landlord, you can also contact our legal partners, Landlord Action, for further guidance on how to end the tenancy, if you decide to do so: Get Legal Help from Housing Law Experts | OpenRent.

I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any further questions then you are welcome to contact our support team here. Our team are available 09:00 - 18:00, Monday - Saturday. They will respond to enquiries received within office hours the same working day. For any enquiries received outside of our hours we’ll get back to you the next working day.


I agree. Just get them to sign a deed of surrender as they hand you back the keys. I wouldnt risk anything else with someone in the midst of a mental health crisis.