I am renting a flat in the UK, on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy without a break clause. The property is managed by an estate agency.

I need to leave 7 months earlier than agreed. I gave notice to the agency and they replied that the landlord can only agree to end the tenancy if:

  • A new tenancy is agreed.
  • I pay the landlord's administration fees for the whole period.
  • I keep paying the rent and bills until a new tenant moves in.
  • The new tenant will rent the flat with the same agency.

This all sounds fair and legit, but my worry is that my pre-covid rent is very high for today's standards. Covid-19 has created a huge supply of free flats, and a shortage of potential tenants looking for a new flat. This has affected the rents, as I've seen several reports of rents going down in my area.

The flat is on the market for some weeks now, the ad has hundreds of views, but we only had 4 viewings, and two of them got cancelled. Checking the market for similar properties, our flat is not very appealing, as there are many other similar flats in the same building with better features, available for the same price. They are also managed by more reputable agencies, as our agency has pretty bad reviews on google.

Our landlord will not consider lowering the rent price to a more competitive level. They are much better getting an overpriced rent from us for the rest of our tenancy term. And I have no negotiating power, as the contract allows them to rip me off.

Also I am not that sure that the agency is doing their best to rent the flat. For all I know, they could be suggesting other flats that they manage to potential tenants.

Is there anything I could do to convince them to lower their rent, so that we could find a new tenant in a reasonable time?

  • Is the new rent the same that you are paying now? Mar 3, 2021 at 21:22
  • Where in the UK is the flat? England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland? The devolved nations may have different rules covering this.
    – Rick
    Mar 3, 2021 at 22:26
  • the flat is in London. the new rent is the same as what we pay.
    – yannicuLar
    Mar 3, 2021 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


Well, you can agree to pay the difference

Which is what you would legally be obliged to pay if you broke the contract anyway.

Look, but if you break the contract the landlord is entitled to damages that place them the same position as if you hadn’t. That’s 7 months rent at the amount you agreed.

If they or you can find an agreeable tenant at that (or a higher price) the landlord suffers no loss from the breach and you don’t owe anything. If they can’t find a tenant, you’re up for the lot. If they can find one at a lower rent, you’re up for the difference.

It’s unfortunate that your circumstances have changed but the landlord shouldn’t suffer for your misfortune.

  • we suggested to pay the difference if they lower the price but they declined. they prefer to risk us paying 7 rents, to avoid getting a slightly lower rent, as the new contract wpuld be longer than 7 months. is that ethical?
    – yannicuLar
    Mar 3, 2021 at 23:08
  • @yannicuLar “ethical” is a question for the Philosophy stack. We and the law don’t care about ethics. Speak to a solicitor about just breaking the contract, offering a settlement and daring them to sue you.
    – Dale M
    Mar 4, 2021 at 0:13
  • I get your point, but in the same context, why did you mention 'it's unfortunate my circumstances have changed' and the 'landlord shouldn’t suffer for my misfortune'? It's not about what they should or shouldn't, or how unfortutate I am. The law allows them to exploit me, and that's what they'll do! Thanks for the advise on the solicitor
    – yannicuLar
    Mar 4, 2021 at 1:13
  • 1
    How did they exploit you? Did they put a gun to your head to make you sign the lease? Or did you freely and voluntarily agree to pay them rent for 12 months? They are entitled to the fulfillment of your promise.
    – Dale M
    Mar 4, 2021 at 1:26
  • I was only hoping some law might protect me against a landlord who is being unreasonable and imposes huge financial losses to me. I offered to pay the difference, if they priced the flat realistically, so they would not lose a single penny. On top of it, I will cover their administration fees till the end of the contract, while they'll also charge them to the new tenant. And they still declined. They just don't care about finding a new tenant and helping me out. Sorry for my wording, this situation is causing me huge distress. And thank you for your time.
    – yannicuLar
    Mar 4, 2021 at 1:49

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