Surrendering your tenancy

What does surrendering your tenancy mean?

Tenancy agreements are usually ended in one of four ways:

  • When an agreed fixed term comes to an end

  • By either the tenant or landlord giving notice to the other that they wish to terminate the tenancy

  • By either the tenant or landlord being in breach of the tenancy agreement and given notice by the other party

  • Both parties voluntarily agree to bring the tenancy to an end - this is surrender

The tenancy can be terminated early by mutual agreement so long as both parties agree.

When this happens, the tenant and landlord will both surrender the tenancy ending all obligations and rights under the tenancy agreement.

If you wish to “surrender” in order to end your tenancy early, you must get your landlord to agree in writing. This is important as it will help to avoid misunderstandings and problems later.

For example, your landlord can deduct money for unpaid rent from your tenancy deposit. You must be able to prove you have given formal notice and show when your tenancy ended otherwise it could be considered as “abandonment”.

In this situation, your landlord can deduct money from your tenancy deposit for unpaid rent or apply for a court order to make you pay any outstanding rent. Abandonment of a tenancy or rent arrears will also make it harder for you to find a new home.

It is not abandonment if you have your landlord’s written agreement that you can end your tenancy early.

What is a deed of surrender?

A deed is usually used in order for a tenancy of three or more years to be surrendered. If your agreement is for less than three years you are still required by law to produce a written document or a "declaration of surrender", which is signed by all parties. This ensures the surrender is expressed.

Use our free online template letter

To help you, we’ve produced an easy-to-use online deed or declaration of surrender template, which can be completed and signed by all parties online. All you need to do is complete this form. We’ll then email it to your landlord for signature and we’ll send you all a final signed PDF version.

This free solicitor-approved deed of surrender can be used by tenants and landlords removing the need for printed versions and delays in the process often caused by waiting for signed copies.