Issues leaving contract early

So I and my partner moved into our flat 5 weeks ago, and long story short we now want to leave. The landlord agreed we could leave, we just need to pay the rent until someone new moves in and pay all associated fees with finding the person.

This process started 3 weeks ago. Within the first week we had 12 people view the flat, then nothing. Our estate agents called us a week and a half later and said they had had three offers on the flat but the landlord wouldn’t reply to the estate agents to confirm or deny the prospective tenants. The landlord finally replied and rejected all of them. Now the estate agents aren’t letting anyone view the flat unless the landlord is happy with them. The estate agents tell us they keep sending possible tenants to the landlord and she rejects every single one of them, won’t even let them view the flat. I can’t work out what is happening here, the flat is very reasonably priced and wasn’t in very good shape when we moved in, the previous tenants had children so having kids can’t be the reason why she is rejecting people.

I was wondering if there is anything I can do here? My fear is that the landlord said we could leave early, but she actually plans to reject everyone until near the end of our contract so we have to pay all the fees instead of her at the end. Any advice here would be really appreciated!

Certain issues with the flat are really affecting my partner’s mental health and I really don’t think he can stay here for much longer, that’s why we were happy to pay any costs of leaving.

This is a case where people must learn from their mistakes. Firstly, did you check out the flat properly before renting? What could be so bad after 2 weeks that you couldn’t see it at viewing? Secondly, have you made a clear agreement with the landlord (the answer is no)?

To be fair, the landlord is being very generous here allowing you to break the contract this early.

What you should do is offer the landlord your full deposit, in writing, as full and final settlement of the contract (rent paid in full of course) and possibly reasonable fees with a set amount. Making an agreement such as “I will pay rent until he finds another tenant” is a very poor arrangement. What if he doesn’t find another tenant? Who decides what a suitable tenant is? What about him finding a tenant before you’ve found a place? What if you find a place but the landlord hasn’t found a tenant?

Take no notice of what the agent and landlord are telling each other. Speak to the landlord directly.

What do you think the LL gains from not sending people to view the flat? Has nothing to do with fees. Something else is happening here.

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I suspect you are correct and the landlord is stalling. The law is on their side in this case. I suggest you have a proper conversation with the landlord and see what they say. If you explain your circumstances again they may be sympathetic.

Thanks, both for your replies. We are having a few issues with the flat, for one a lot of things were broken in the flat when we moved in and the landlord hasn’t fixed anything yet (part of the oven doesn’t work, we can’t open half the wardrobe etc.). My partner has rung the landlord at least 40 times since we moved in and the landlord never picks up. After my boyfriend tries to call her he sometimes gets a brief Whatsapp message from the landlord, then he will reply to it and the landlord will ignore his reply. I messaged the landlord a week ago saying the shower stopped working, no reply. The estate agents have a lot of issues getting the landlord to reply too, but the landlord is self-managing so they can’t help us with our issues.

Our main issue is the neighbour’s kids though. We knew kids lived in the building but we didn’t realise how awful they would be. They bang on our windows to get our attention, ring our buzzer then run away, use our window as a goal when they play football etc. We will know never to rent in an area with kids again.

So what you saying is we offer them our full deposit, and would you accompany that with a timescale to make it less vague? We have decided to move back to our parent’s houses after this so there isn’t an issue with finding a new place to stay.

I do think the landlord is stalling but I don’t know why and she won’t answer our calls to tell us. The estate agents say they get so many tenants chasing them about when they can view the flat now, but none of them get to view it.

Yes, if you have a place to go to you e-mail the landlord detailing why you want to break the contract (list issues) by a certain date (one week off). Then you proceed with your suggestion of him keeping the deposit as compensation for breaking the lease

Require him to respond to you in writing that he acknowledges that you can break the contract by the date you specified in return for him keeping the deposit.

If he agrees, make sure you leave the place in the same condition it was and that you paid rent till the agreed date

If he doesn’t accept you must start dealing with the issues instead as you are liable for the rent until the break clause can be activated.

I agree that if the landlord is not accepting good offers and is generally absent then you should offer the deposit as full and final settlement. Nothing focuses the mind like a deadline! If she’s not been great at communication and repairing she is in breach of the lease too…


Thank you for the advice everyone! The landlord FINALLY let a few people view the flat. Though now she is asking for double the amount we were originally quoted for leaving. So that’s the next hurdle.

If you have anything in writing from the agent or landlord from the original conversation about the cost of leaving then you can hold them to that.

Imho the nice and succinct post above yours by @Kimberly2 is the best option you have.