Leaving a tenancy early


I started a 12-month contract last week and I am already desperate to leave! Is there anything I can do? I understand if I find a new tenant I might be able to, does anyone have any suggestions on where to start here?

I have a few reasons for wanting to leave. The main one being we are in a flat with a communal garden. Some of our neighbours have hired a bouncy castle and placed it right in front of our living room window (1m away). We have only been here three days but for the last two it was on from 11am until 8.30pm non-stop. I know it has already been here three weeks. The noise is incredibly loud in our living room, and as I work from home it is really challenging.

Also, the flat itself isn’t in great shape. There is a strong smell of urine coming from the carpet, part of the cooker doesn’t work, the carbon monoxide detector was two years out of date, the smoke detector had dead batteries, 1/4 of the wardrobe won’t open and the list goes on. We asked the landlord if the carpet could be cleaned but they haven’t responded.

Any advice here would be really appreciated!

if the bouncy castle has been there 3 weeks, was it there when you viewed? Could you not smell the urine when you viewed ? Sounds as if you did not give enough attention to the viewing. This has put you in a tricky position when you are now signed up. The communal area may be under some sort of restriction in the lease you need to check this(. these bouncy castles are prone to failure of the motor late at night when no one is about)

Hi Colin,

No the bouncy castle wasn’t there when we viewed it. And we didn’t notice the urine either, there was a family living there when we viewed it and I think they had a rug over the area that smells like urine so we didn’t notice it at the time.

Haha I keep praying the motor fails

So in terms of the bouncy castle I would speak to them and if that didn’t work write to the landlord for advice.

In terms of the state of the flat, as Colin stated you should’ve been more careful.

However, write to the landlord and outline clearly what things are broken and need fixing. Give him a date by which you need him to respond (a few days). If he doesn’t respond you can carry out essential works and deduct it from the rent. You cannot repair/improve whatever you want.

What you can reasonably do, in my opinion, is:
Fix the cooker as it could be a safety hazard
Clean the carpet professionally
Fix broken wardrobe
Replace battery in fire alarm

Is to there gas in the apartment then? If it is, have you been given a gas safety certificate? If not, request one URGENTLY (within a day) from the landlord or call the council. It’s a legal requirement to have a current one and a carbon monoxide detector.

I think Colin indicated you sneak out at night and make sure it fails. I would second that…

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Thanks for the response Per. I’ve just never lived somewhere with such inconsiderate neighbours before, I saw the communal garden but figured it would be a few kids playing, not a bouncy castle all day with kids from all over attending. Just praying for some rain. I will speak to them and ask them to move it in front of their flat, or I may need to resort to tackling that motor…

The actual state of the flat I can live with, it was more the noise level that was the tipping point. But if there is anything I can do to fix the flat that would be great.

So you would suggest we email the landlord with what needs fixing (already done with no response but can try again). If they don’t reply we should email again and say if they don’t respond we will fix it ourselves and deduct it from the rent?

We bought ourselves a carbon monoxide alarm and batteries for the smoke detector, but I agree with you about needing them to fix the carpet, oven and wardrobe.

Just checked and they have provided a gas certificate, it was done in November 2020.

Yes, essential works you can deduct from the rent.

I would make sure to get a couple of quotes for the work, scan them and send them to him. Give him a few days to respond and then carry out the works if no response. Then provide receipts etc.

Don’t go over the top as you’ll have to justify why it’s essential if he disagrees with you. Also, do try to get competitive quotes and fix yourself what you can fix.

There is no general provision for tenants to make deductions from the rent. There is a procedure advocated by Shelter, but it has to be followed precisely and there are no guarantees that it would protect a tenant from Eviction for rent arrears.

Your beef is with the other tenants and if they fail to cooperate, you should keep a diary and photos/recordings and report them to the Council for ASB.


Thanks for the responses, everyone. If the tenant issues continue even after we try to resolve them are there any grounds to leave early? The kids have started thumping on our windows to get our attention, ringing the buzzer and then running off. I have absolutely no idea who’s kids these are.

Your only possibility, other than to negotiate early exit, for which you might have to pay a premium, is too take another look at the advert for the property and see if it is described anywhere as quiet or peaceful. That might breach consumer legislation and give you cause to unwind the tenancy. Its a stretch though as you might have to show that the landlord knew about the noisy kids or could have foreseen the bouncy castle issue.