How do I move out of shared property?

As the start university or college is well underway, you might have been swept up in the excitement of moving into your new rented property. However, whether it’s halls or a shared house, you will be entering into a legal contract, and ignoring the terms of your contract might cause you problems further down the line, especially when you want to move out.

While, at the moment, you might not see any reason you would want to move out before the end of the contract, things can change. In this article, we look at how to move out of shared property.

What is a HMO?

A HMO (house in multiple occupation) is a property shared by three or more unrelated people (not part of the same household), sharing facilities in the property such as bathrooms, kitchens and living areas. Most student houses will be HMOs, and landlords must follow extra procedures if this is the case.

If I move out of the property, will the agreement end?

No, you cannot simply move out of the property as you have signed a binding legal agreement; therefore, moving out will not bring this to an end, and you will still be liable to pay rent. However, you may have a break clause included in your agreement.

Check your contract for a break clause

If you have a break clause in your tenancy agreement, this can let you leave early before your tenancy ends.

However, there is no standard format for a break clause, and many are very specific, only being able to be used on or after a specified date. You should seek advice to see if you can use the break clause in your agreement to end your tenancy early. It may not also be called a ‘break clause’, so you should look for anything that refers to giving notice or ending the tenancy early.

If you are just moving into your property and haven’t yet signed your contract, you could request a break clause to be included to allow early termination of the tenancy.

Can I be released from my tenancy agreement?

It is very unlikely you will be released from your contract with a private tenancy. If you live in halls, many universities will release you from your housing contract if you leave university. However, most students do not stay in halls.

It is always worth speaking to your landlord about a possible release; you may have compelling grounds to do so that might impact your ability to pay rent, such as on compassionate grounds.

Can I find someone else to replace me?

If your landlord does not release you from your agreement, they may request you find a replacement for your contract. In this circumstance, a new contract will be signed by your replacement, your contract will end, and your deposit should be refunded.

To discuss this, or any other property dispute related matter, please contact Lucy directly on 01483 887766, email or start a live chat today.

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


Lucy Penfold

Senior Solicitor, Dispute Resolution

Lucy is a Senior Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team here at Hart Brown and specialises in property litigation and contentious trusts and probate. Lucy...

Lucy-Senior Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution

Senior Solicitor, Dispute Resolution

Lucy Penfold

Lucy is a Senior Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team here at Hart Brown and specialises in property litigation and contentious trusts and probate.

Lucy completed her law degree at Kingston University before completing the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Guildford (now the University of Law). Lucy qualified in 2012 and brings with her general commercial litigation experience from Central London and Surrey law firms.

A member of the Property Litigation Association, Lucy deals with all areas of property litigation including varied landlord and tenant disputes, evictions, neighbour disputes, boundary disputes, commercial property disputes, property disrepairs and dilapidations.

Lucy also deals with various contentious probate matters, including interpreting the terms of wills, brining or defending claims to contest wills or trusts, and executor removal disputes.

Lucy’s general commercial litigation experience allows her to have a pragmatic and commercial approach to any legal issue faced.

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