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Tenants want to end contract within the fixed term


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My tenants signed a fixed term (1 year) tenancy agreement 2 months ago and now I have been served notice from them that they want to end the contract and therefore will be moving out in 2 months.

The reason the tenants are serving the notice is due to 'breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment', which is being caused by a third party (building work by a developer and a barking guard dog owed by a security company), not by myself directly. However, I have taken this forward with the developer and reported this to the local council on the tenants' behalf but they've decided to move out nonetheless, although I offered to reduce the rent.

This is a breach of contract and surely they can't do this. What are the necessary legal procedures I need to follow to retrieve the remaining rent that would have been due to me and how will I be able to track them after they have moved?


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The right of quiet enjoyment in is the right of a tenant to enjoy a rented property without intrusion or disturbance by the landlord. Usually this means something done by the landlord or his/her agents e.g. entering the property without permission.

In some limited instances the landlord can be held responsible where the problems are being caused by persons not directly acting on his or her behalf. An example might be a nuisance being caused by another tenant of the same landlord and the landlord does nothing to enforce the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement to prevent the nuisance.

In your case, though, it seems you have a strong case. The disturbance is entirely unconnected with you and you have no more power than the tenants to sort the problem out. Notwithstanding this, you have made some effort to help out as best you can.

In summary, I think you would have a strong case to sue them for the unpaid rent if you wanted to, although as an alternative you might want to negotiate a longer period of notice whilst you find another tenant?

As for keeping track of them, its just a question of gathering as much information as you can. Hopefully you got a reference with previous addresses, employers details etc. And never forget the obvious, namely, ask them where they are going. If they know you are determined to follow up on the issue, they may not want to risk an order being made in their absence.

Good luck and I'd be interested to know how it turns out for you.


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The quiet enjoyment clause is to ensure the Landlord doesn't give any hassle to his Tenant....like deciding to build a new extension whilst the tenant is in occupation. It has nothing to do with exterior factors which the Landlord has no control over and this should be explained to your tenants.

They would be technically in breach of contract and they cannot serve notice to quit on that basis.

How you deal with it is down to you really.

Personally I would let them go, provided you have not actually lost any money and re-let your flat.


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Hi Kev,

I agree with Melboy. Life is too short. It is better to let the tenants go and find someone else who will be happy renting from you.

I appreciate the legal argument for chasing the tenant for the rent owed for the remainder of the period ....... but do you really want

that stress?

In my opinion - move on and re-let the property to, hopefully, a better tenant !

Best Wishes


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Hi All,

Many thanks for your replies.

Another issue I might possibly have is that the tenants are due to pay rent to the period they have stated to move out but I have a gut feeling that they won’t pay and tell me to use the deposit I’m holding to off set the rent.

I am willing to re-let the property if new tenants are found. However, if I don’t, then I will be pursuing them for the remainder of the rent owed. After all, why do we sign a contract? They cannot just state they want to go and end it on their terms. The hard part will be the time and cost involved in tracking them down once they’ve left …any ideas as to when is a good time to do that?

Also, should I write a letter to them now stating that if suitable tenants are not found, then they will be in breach of their tenancy if they move out?


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