Early Termination of Contract
Sometimes there can be reasons that cause you to want to leave your property early. This could be anything ranging from personal issues to issues with the property itself.
Queens University Halls
Students living in University Halls can sign for a contract length of between 40-51 weeks in a number of different locations, with prices varying. Once you have signed a contract with them, you are bound to this.
There is no formal early termination request process for students in University Residences, however should your situation change due to exceptional circumstances, you can submit a request to the accommodation manager and ask them to consider releasing you from your contract early. There is no obligation for this request to be accepted and this is at the discretion of the Accommodation Office. They may allow you to vacate your tenancy early if you find a replacement tenant.
If you are looking to take a temporary withdrawal from your studies or withdraw permanently, you will be required to vacate your room once you have left the course. You will normally be notified of a date by which time you must leave.
Private Sector Rental Properties
Once you have entered a private tenancy agreement, it can be very difficult to get out of it. Most tenancy agreements will not allow for early termination on the part of the tenant and therefore if this is the case, you are legally bound to the tenancy until the date this ends.
On rare occasions your tenancy agreement may have a mutual break clause. This means that either party may terminate the contract early. This will usually come with some conditions, for example, a notice period. You should check your tenancy agreement to see if there is a break clause that allows you to leave the tenancy early with a stipulated notice period that you need to provide.
If you do establish that there is a break clause in your contract, you should make the landlord or agent aware of this clause and which section this sits within the agreement and provide them the written notice required. If you are not sure where to look for this in your tenancy agreement, please feel free to send this over to SU Advice and we are happy to check through this for you.
If there is no break clause, then it is likely that the only way you can leave the agreement early is by mutual agreement of both parties or finding a replacement tenant. You will still be legally obliged to uphold your financial promises as per the tenancy agreement i.e. to continue paying the rent until a replacement is found.
We would encourage you to make the landlord or agent aware of your intentions to leave the contract early and confirm that they are happy for you to seek an alternative tenant to take your place.
The best way to find a replacement tenant is to advertise the room. You can advertise the room on different online platforms to try and promote this to as many potential replacement tenants as possible.
Some sites you may want to use are:
- Property Pal
You may also want to look at sharing this on social media if you feel comfortable doing so.
You will also want to understand what costs may be involved in leaving the contract. For example, sometimes there may be a fee involved for changing the tenant. You should read your tenancy agreement to see if there is or ask the agent or landlord to confirm.
There are some cases outside of that noted above that may allow you to terminate the contract. This could be if the landlord has breached the contract. This would need to be a serious breach known as a repudiatory breach that entitles you to terminate the agreement early and potentially claim damages. Whether or not the breach is sufficiently serious is ultimately only a decision a court can make. You may want to seek Advice from Housing Rights NI regarding this.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss concerns with your accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org