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tenant wanting to leave before contract


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Please could someone advice me.

I have just last week taken on a new lodger...she asked for a one year contract although we usually do 6 months but she wanted to lock in her rent rate.

After a week she came to me and said she has decided to move in with her naan and has to opt out of the contract.,..

Where does that leave me...what options do i have...can i hold her to the 12 months rent...or are there any other options...it took me 5 months to find this lodger and i cant afford to keep the room empty again for another few months as my husband has lost his job and i am 4 months pregnant at home not working.

please advise...anyone..

many thanks in advance.


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Hi Heebs,

Although the tenant has signed for 12 months (and IN LAW they are responsible for the rent for the next 12 months) - I think you need to be practical about this situation and let them leave early ie: as soon as you have found someone else.

I would tell the tenant that they are going to be held responsible for the rent until such a time as you are able to replace them with another tenant. In practice the tenant isn't going to pay you rent whilst they are not living with you (unless you pursue them through the courts) so you are likely to only be able to deduct lost rent from the Security deposit.

You should then actively try and get another tenant ASAP so that the existing tenant can be released from the agreement.

It is not unreasonable to deduct your costs (of finding a new tenant) from the Security Deposit as long as the existing tenant agrees to this - and there is any money left in the Security deposit after deducting outstanding rent !

I don't think it is worth pursuing the tenant with the law.

Spend your energies looking for someone who wants to rent from you (rather than chasing someone who doesn't).

Hope that helps ....


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Hi Heebs

There are plenty of reputable websites which advertise rooms for rent which I have listed below. As well as websites also try your local paper to advertise.




The month of August will be pretty quiet as most people are on holiday but demand from lodgers should pick up in Sept so don't be too down-hearted if you are not deluged with replies straight away. And don't forget the credit checks!!!

As a word of caution, you may need the 12 months rent but it's always a good idea to add a 'get out' clause to the contract at 6 months just in case things do not work out and you're left with a nightmare lodger. You don't want someone in your home who you can't get on with. I'm sure you'd rather have peace of mind than money, right?

Good luck


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