Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth tenant wants to be released from her tenancy

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

Over the weekend, my least favourite tenant asked to be released from the tenancy. To say I’m over the moon is an understatement.

Surrender of tenancy
Surrender of tenancy

A little bit of history – It was to be a joint tenancy so both parties were to be referenced, needless to say the fella failed however the wife passed and feeling under pressure from the couple and not wanting a void,  I gave in and made a decision that was to be a costly mistake.

Shortly after the 12 month tenancy commenced the husband ran off with his best friend, we won’t go there! so he left and Mrs continued to live in the property. The rent was never paid on time and never the correct amount of rent. She would text in the early hours of the morning with excuse after excuse and was always looking for a shoulder to cry on. I was never able to issue notice as rent arrears never quite got to 2 months, she always managed to pay just the right amount to fend me off.

So into the fifth month I had come to the end of my tether. I thought about serving a no fault notice but couldn’t handle the thought of possibly having to apply to the Court for a possession order if she didn’t leave.

My breakthrough came over the weekend, she decided that she wanted to go back home to her parents as she no longer wanted to be responsible for the property and she’s asked if I would agree that she could leave.

So now  I  would be grateful for any advice to get this over with quickly, so that I can sleep easy again.

Lorraine’s Answer:

You could ask for a surrender of tenancy to be completed by Mrs.

So what is a Surrender of Tenancy letter?

 It’s a mutual agreement between landlord and tenant to end a tenancy. This is called ‘surrender’. To be valid, both sides must agree, and it’s always best to put what’s been agreed in writing so everyone knows where they stand. If the tenancy is joint, all joint tenants and the landlord must agree to the surrender.


Whatever you do, it must be completed correctly and swiftly to cover all avenues. Ensuring illegal eviction can not be claimed at a later date or Mr deciding that he wants to move back into the property should he find out that Mrs has moved out.

You don’t mention if a deposit was taken and if there are still rent arrears, so try to reach an amicable agreement if at all possible. Let the tenant be released early from the tenancy and agree to keep any deposit if need be which can be used to offset any rent arrears. If the rent arrears are small,  you may wish to write off anyway in order that you can get your property back and with the least amount of fuss.

Hopefully the lady has kept the property in a clean and tidy state so your spend will not be too much before finding your next tenants.

You may also wish to think about a “break clause” for  any future 12 month tenancy agreements that you propose.

Until next week!