My Tenant Had Signed A Tenancy Agreement, But Now Wants To Cancel. Where Do I Stand?

December 20, 2022

Although certain credit agreement contracts do contain a cooling-off period of around seven days, tenancies are not covered by this since they are not credit agreement contracts. Tenancy arrangements are not covered by the 2014 amendments to the legislation governing distance selling.

All of this implies that as soon as your renter signs the contract, they are legally bound by its provisions.

So what should you do if a renter who has already signed a tenancy agreement wants to cancel it now?

If they decide not to move in, you have a few alternatives.

You have the right to demand that they abide by the tenancy agreement they signed. Here, the law is on your side, and your renter has no choice but to abide by it.

You may give them a Section 8 notice ordering them to vacate the property if they have violated the agreement in any manner, such as by failing to pay rent or subletting when it is specifically prohibited under the agreement. As an alternative, you might hold off until 4 months into the tenancy before giving them a Section 21 notice that requests their departure after six months.

Nevertheless, if your renter has made it apparent that they do not want to occupy the space at all, you should think about whether you want to go through the effort of forcing them to stay. They may choose to be a less-than-perfect renter in the hopes that you would terminate your contract with them as soon as possible. Think about how you will handle any potential concerns or arrears before making this choice.

First things first: we advise having an open discussion with the renter to ascertain the reasons behind their abrupt change of heart. They may no longer be able to afford the rent you are asking for due to a change in their financial status, in which case they are being responsible for seeking to dissolve the lease arrangement.

Based on this discussion, you may provide your renter the choice to sign a Deed of Surrender, which would let them renounce their rights to and obligations to the property. You would also acknowledge this by signing this agreement. In essence, the road to renting is rewritten from scratch, starting again for both you and your renter.

Getting your losses back

In addition to losing a possible decent renter, you also wasted time. As we previously said, you are starting over and need to find a new renter for your property to prevent or at the very least curtail an expensive vacancy time.

Landlords often collect holding deposits these days while they complete the required legal paperwork, and at this point, they could come in handy.

As of the 2019 amendments to tenant fees, you may ask for one week’s rent as a holding deposit. In this scenario, you would be qualified for this holding deposit, which should pay the expenses you spent so you do not suffer excessively while looking for your new renter.

If you’re looking to sell or let your home with a Lee On the Solent Estate Agent, Stubbington Estate Agent, Gosport Estate Agent, Fareham Estate Agent, Portsmouth Estate Agent then please do no hesitate to email on or call on 023 93 960 169.

Free Landlord Guide: 9 things landlords you need to know in 2022

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