Your contract will last a specific time. At the end of it you must either renew the contract or move out. You may be able to move out early – in which case you will need to find someone to take your place.
With an assured shorthold tenancy, the tenant is obliged to continue to pay rent to the landlord for the period of the agreement. This will normally be for at least six months and in some cases can be a year.
Once the contract period ends, you can agree a renewal. This may involve the tenancy continuing, with a notice period to be served by either party to end the tenancy. That period will typically be one or two months.
If giving notice, you will need to put this in writing to your landlord or the agent. This should specify the name of the tenant, the address of the property and the name of the landlord. Rent will be payable for the entire period of the tenancy, even if the tenants move out before it ends.
It may be possible to negotiate with your landlord to leave before the end of the agreement.
Alternatively, you might agree with the landlord that you find a replacement tenant. The new tenant will need to be acceptable to the landlord. If you are a joint tenant, your replacement will also have to be approved by the others with whom you share. New contracts will need to be signed, in which the new tenant replaces you.
There are several things you need to remember to do before you leave your rented home.
Your deposit should be repaid to you within 28 days. The landlord or agent must provide you with an account of all deductions. You can ask for a statement of costs, with receipts for any items replaced. The landlord cannot make a deduction from your deposit for fair wear and tear. The recovery of deposits is a common point of friction between tenants and their landlords.