Last updated: July 21, 2023 at 11:00 am
When you’re renting a property, you want to be able to live comfortably within it. This means having a feeling of safety and security and being able to relax properly within your home. When things interrupt any of those feelings, it can become upsetting and stressful.
Have you had enough of noisy nuisances? Then here’s what you need to know about moving out and breaking your tenancy agreement early.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Issues With Noise
One of the things that can interrupt the enjoyment of a property is noise. If you’ve got a noisy neighbour, or you live in a particularly noisy environment, it can feel hard to unwind properly when the time comes.
It can also cause issues for people who work from home, or who have young children that need regular naps, or those who work night shifts.
There are plenty of reasons that a noisy neighbour or noisy street might make you want to move out. The only issue is, when you’re renting, it’s not always as easy as just moving out.
Speak to Your Landlord
Before you decide to just end your tenancy, it is important to discuss things with your landlord. They might be able to help you with getting rid of the nuisance first.
Landlords can speak to property managers who might have more information about the nuisance. They may also be the owner of the property that your noisy neighbours live in, especially if you live in a flat.
Look at Your Contract
There may well be a clause in your contract that dictates your right to quiet enjoyment of the unit you’re renting. In which case, you can claim that continuous and disturbing noise is directly affecting that right. In this situation, the landlord is responsible for taking reasonable actions to keep your property as quiet as possible. If they do not do so, you are entitled to leave your tenancy early.
Alternatively, your contract can tell you what your rules are regarding ending your contract. There are a couple of types of tenancy: a fixed term tenancy and a periodic tenancy.
If you are in a fixed term tenancy, you can end your contract if you have a break clause, you just must provide ‘notice’ to your landlord for the number of days that your break clause dictates. If you do not have a break clause, then you cannot give notice to leave before the end of the tenancy. You will just be able to leave on the last day of your fixed term. Once you stay past the fixed term, without signing another, you move into a periodic tenancy.
If, however, you have a periodic tenancy, and you do not live with your landlord, you will be able to break your contract. You can break your tenancy agreement by providing 4 weeks’ notice for a week-to-week contract, 1 months’ notice for a month-to-month contract, and for periodic contracts longer than that, you will need to give the same amount of notice as your rental period. If you live with your landlord, you do not have to give a set amount of notice unless your tenancy agreement says you do.
You do not have to give a reason when you give your notice, but it might help. You can write a letter or an email (if your estate agent/property management company/landlord allow it) with your notice. It is important to get someone to confirm receipt of the notice.
Can You Break a Tenancy agreement if There Is No Break Clause?
If you’re unfortunate enough to not have a break clause, but the noise of the street or neighbour is bothering you excessively, you may still be able to break your tenancy agreement. This will involve getting your landlord’s agreement to leave.
To do this, you will need to explain to your landlord why it is that you want to leave the property. It is important to do this in a way that does not paint any blame on your landlord, as you want them on your side. Once the landlord has received your request, the ball is in their court. They do not have to accept, and if they do not, you will be responsible for paying rent and other bills until the end of the fixed term contract.
Some people may consider just leaving without giving any notice. While this may solve the short-term problem of noise nuisances, it will cause more problems in the long term. Your tenancy will not have ended. You will still be responsible for your rent, and things like council tax and energy bills.
Your landlord can, should you leave without notice, issue you a court order to make you pay the rent you owe. This will be in addition to court fees. From there, you will then also find that you may not be able to get a reference from your landlord, and you are unlikely to get your deposit back.
What Other Options Are There?
If you can’t exit your tenancy agreement due to noise, there are a few things you can do. The first step should be keeping records of the noise. Make sure that these are detailed, including the time, date and the noise. You might even want to include what you had to do to cover the noise.
If the noise persists, these can be used to discuss the issue with your housing association, landlord or council. You can report anti-social behaviour to the council, and making too much noise counts as an example of this.
Should the noise be solely caused by one neighbour, you might find that talking to them can help. It is often the case that people are unaware of how loud they are. By having a civilised conversation, you might be able to fix the problem nicely and easily without having to worry about moving home.