Moving Abroad – All You Need To Know About How To End Your Tenancy


Usually, an offer to move abroad comes unexpectedly, suddenly, and…at the worst moment. Getting a proposal for a long-term office relocation to Paris is possible just a day after your monthly tenancy payment.

It’s not excluded finding yourself trapped between a fixed periodic tendency at a substantial annual price and the sudden once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to replace the UK with a sunnier and warmer place where you can devote yourself to what you have always wanted, even if you’re moving into a smaller apartment.

We don’t envy you for these dramatic events you are facing now. But we don’t plan to leave you with no guides on handling them.

Here are some excellent things to know and tips to remember if you live on rent and have just decided to take the offer abroad.

Check the type of tenancy you have

Start with an objective assessment of the situation you are in. All the possible obstacles you might have to leave the rented flat smoothly are in your lease contract.

Somewhere between all the introductory clauses with your rights and obligations, there must be at least a sentence related to your moving out. Read about the eventual penalties you can experience if you do not obey the contract.

Find out what your options to terminate your contract are. If you don’t understand the clauses, contact a lawyer or letting agent for more information.

Contact your landlord

Reaching your landlord is also a must. And by the way, it’s better to do it as soon as you decide to move abroad. The earlier you tell your landlord, the better for you.

Besides, in your landlord contract, as well as in British law, it’s said that you have some obligations to meet before shutting the door of the rented property:

  • You need to perform a deep end of tenancy cleaning;
  • You should repair all the caused damages;
  • You must find a solution in case you terminate the tenancy contract beforehand;
  • You might need someone to substitute you for the entire rental price or part of it if you are in a joint tenancy.

Read the termination offer carefully

Depending on the type of contract, it will put you in the full right to move out or in an awful situation to face penalties and disputes.

There are two types of lease contracts – periodic and contracts with no fixed periodic tenancy. The periodic contracts include concrete dates – up to when you rent the house and pay your rent. The non-fixed tenancy contract is all about the agreement you will have with the landlord.

 You can skip all financial fees and taxes if you are lucky and diplomatic enough with your leave notice. If you are a good talker, you might skip penalties even if the contract says you should stay there for one more year. But it’s all about your communication skills here.

What consequences can you expect for ending the tenancy early

Let’s imagine you are in a terrible position. You must leave before your contract says you have the right to leave. A clause in your contract might determine the concrete fee you will pay for this violation (one or several rents in a row).

If nothing is specified, the possible outcomes are:

  • Your landlord might require you to pay all the rents you owe until the concrete date;
  • You may neglect anything and just bring your landlord the key. In this case, your tenancy deposit will be kept even if you perform the end of tenancy perfectly well;
  • You might get your tenancy deposit back, but to receive a negative score in your credit history. In this case, when/if you come back to the UK, you might find difficulties in finding a new place for rent.

Try to help and find a replacement tenant

The fines from above don’t sound pretty nice, do they? You might now wonder if there’s some trick you can do to avoid them.

Doing tricks with the law isn’t a good idea, but trying to negotiate with your landlord is. If you act smart enough, you can get rid of the hefty fines and save at least half of your tenancy deposit or pay not 7 but 4 rents, for instance. To alleviate the landlord, you need to minimise his problems.

Here’s the deal: he doesn’t want to be mean; he just insists on getting what you owe him. So, if you find a replacement tenant in time, your landlord can save all the money wasted in vain because of you.

Here are some ideas to quickly find someone else to live in your rented house or flat:

  • Make an announcement at work that you have a vacant place for immediate accommodation. The news can be spread from mouth to mouth so the right tenant to arrive before you leave;
  • You can write social media posts in local groups for renting/buying properties in your region;
  • You can also invest some small amount of cash for notices in the local post or the newspaper.

Take care of the property before moving out

Before you get too excited to spread the news about a vacant flat in your neighbourhood that’s given for rent, here’s what else you can do to double your chances for a hassle-free farewell with your landlord.

Ensure you can make someone replace you. It’s a must to return the property to its presentable, welcoming, pest-free, neat, and stylish state. On mandatory, be prudent and diligent, but also don’t forget to implement expert tips to save time at the end of tenancy cleaning.

When a view is appointed, don’t let anyone in the premises while your belongings are still in a total mess before the removal.

Final check of everything

Remember how the property looked when you moved in for the first time? When you “advertise” it to your potential replacement, this is the condition it should be in now.

If necessary, please make some repairs and fix all the damages. Although the common tears and wears are not your tenant’s responsibility, if there’s something you can do about them, don’t hesitate to give your best. After all, your situation is odd enough to refuse to do things you are not obliged to, right?


Living abroad might be painful if you still owe some rent or actions to your landlord. However, if you approach the situation humanely, he might be kind enough to understand you.

If you draw a blank with this, simply consider what’s more essential for you now – moving abroad or getting your tenancy deposit back and keeping your clear credit history. 

Life is not always smooth. Sometimes, all you’ve got is a choice for a better future.

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