Tenant wishing to end contract early. Should I enforce payment up to break clause?


My tenant has lived in the property for 2 months, he is not happy there and has told me he is giving 2 month notice and wants to look for somewhere else. He is on a standard 1 year contract so he is liable for the rent for 6 months from the contract start (due to the break clause).
I was going to suggest to him I will advertise the flat for 2 months from today but if I don’t find a suitable tenant in that time he is liable to pay for 6 months as per the contract. However my concern is that by agreeing in that way, he will arrange his move date for 2 months time and though legally he is liable, the actual reality of him paying the rent if he has left could be a struggle. Also he may claim I have not made enough effort to find a tenant in the time period etc… just feels it leaves it open to backfiring onto me, and I don’t find him very easy to deal with so I am wary. Much as I don’t wish to force him to stay if he is unhappy, in some ways it seems simpler to say as per the contract he is liable and will be charged rent for the 6 months until the break clause. Anyone else been in this scenario?
I am also unsure if he is liable for council tax in the same way? (as I know if the flat is untenanted I will be charged).

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Honestly let him go cut your losses if he’s difficult to deal with he’ll be a nightmare if he then changes his mind, which he may well do due to lack of social housing, get him to sign a surrender document ASAP save yourself hassle of court at a later date because it’s on the side of the tenant 99.9% good luck.

If it was me I would bind him to the six months
He’s being difficult so you give in to him
My attitude is if he was polite compromise
If he’s not hold your ground you have the legal high ground
If he has a guarantor all the better for you
But if you are letting him go
Get him to sign a deed of surrender so you are covered,if he is difficult, and get the council to witness it
If you are not sure regarding this take legal advice and make him pay for the deed
You are doing him a favour !
It has to be done on departure not before hand

I think your suggestion is a good compromise Ceri. Its always difficult to know what to do, but its not in anyone’s interest to keep an unhappy tenant in their property in my view. Hopefully, there won’t be any shortage of applicants.

Did he say why he is unhappy there? Is there something about the property you need to address?

He has a number of complaints. His credit record for some reason means he can’t get a broadband provider and he says his 4G is not strong in the flat so he has no internet.
He thinks the heating is insufficient (we’ve been over this issue a before) and too expensive to run. He claims there is some lingering smell of smoke in the flat and has questioned if the previous tenants smoked inside. I am trying to address all the issues with him … but I have to say I lived in the flat for 3 years and the claims he makes don’t add up to my and the previous tenants experience of living there. He doesn’t seem interested in solutions, like when I suggested looking at another energy suppliers he said he wants to stick with the current provider. It feels like he wants out and is trying to find things to throw at me to void the contract.

Cigarette smoke doesn’t linger for two months
He’s being malicious to get out of contract
If that’s what you want then let him out

But do it formally with a deed of surrender

There is a thread on here by a landlord and his ‘ nightmare’ of tenants not leaving on the date recommended

The thread below documents how to do it

If he can’t get a broadband contract it might be that he has CCJs. If so then let him go asap.

Let him go and thank god he’s not decided to stay rent free ( he could quite simply stop both paying you and answering your messages and squat there ) This could be as long as it takes the courts to sort it out which could be a year . He may even wreck the flat in the meantime . You have dodged a bullet and only lost a couple of months rent .


If he is willing to pay for 2 months notice just let him go, if he doesn’t pay his deposit will cover most if it whereas if you insist he stays 6 months the deposit won’t cover it. 2 months should be plenty of time to find a new tenant if your rent level is correct.

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