Sometimes things happen and you need to move out of your property before your tenancy end date. We understand these things happen but your contract is a legally binding document. This means that you cannot just 'move out' and you need to continue to pay your rent. However, there is a way in which you can leave your contract early, if you need to.
This is called a Novation Agreement.
These agreements can be complicated, so we highly recommend that you read this page carefully, so that you know what your responsibilities are.
How a Novation works
Essentially, you need to find a like-for-like replacement tenant, who will take over the contract from you. This person will have to match the exact terms of your agreement. This includes the same level of rent security you have. For example, they would need to provide a UK-based guarantor, or if you paid your rent upfront, they will also need to pay upfront.
Once you have found a replacement, we can prepare the Novation Agreement. This removes your name from the contract and adds the new tenant.
Everyone else on your tenancy agreement will also have to agree to the replacement. Everyone will also need to sign the agreement.
Important: You will be liable for your portion of the rent until the replacement tenant has signed the agreement. You will not be released until all paperwork from the replacement tenant is completed to the satisfaction of the landlord or Purple Frog. Only confirmation of this from Purple Frog or the landlord in writing (by signing the Novation agreement), will be legally binding.
There is an online Novation form at the bottom of this page. Please fill it in to let us know that you want to move out.
Important: Filling in the form lets us know you want to move out. It doesn't mean you have completed the Novation process.
By completing the Novation form you are agreeing that any fees due to Purple Frog for administration of the Novation or finding a replacement tenant can be deducted by the landlord or Purple Frog from any monies held on your behalf by the landlord or Purple Frog.
Tenancies signed before 20th May 2019
Before the tenancy has begun:
£100 per tenant – if you find a replacement tenant.
£150 per tenant – if we find a replacement tenant.
Once the tenancy has begun:
£200 per tenant – if you find a replacement tenant.
£250 per tenant – if we find a replacement tenant.
Tenancies signed after 20th May 2019
£50 per tenant – if you find a replacement.
£50 admin fee, plus a fee of 50% of the monthly rent or a minimum of £250, per tenant – if we find a replacement tenant.
Finding a replacement
You are best placed to find someone to replace you on the contract. We strongly recommend that you:
1) Advertise on websites that specialise in room letting (for example Gum Tree, Easy Room Mate, Find A Flat Mate, etc).
2) Create a Facebook group/page/event and share it with your friends and ask them to share it on their social media as well.
3) Use existing Facebook groups that have been set up to help students advertise rooms.
4) Post the room on student notice boards around the university and students union.
Further Tips For Advertising
- Take photos of the room and the property to use in your posts
- Make sure the room is clean, tidy and well-presented
- Consider advertising the room at a lower rent to make it more attractive. Please note you will need to difference.
As a backup:
We can assist by advertising your room for you on our website.
However, you are much more likely to find a replacement, as we don't specialise in this service. You will also need to pay a fee, if we find a tenant for you. This will cover our advertising costs and will be 50% of one month's rent, or a minimum of £250.
Most students have sorted their accommodation by the time term starts in October so the best time for us to advertise a room is between June and October. There is no guarantee that we will be able to find a replacement tenant for your room; it becomes especially difficult once term has started.
If you instruct us to advertise the room on your behalf, we will ensure it is listed within five working days.
Important: You will still need to look for a replacement as well. Purple Frog agreeing to list your room does not transfer responsibility for finding a replacement to us. Neither Purple Frog nor your landlord accept any responsibility if we are unable to source a replacement tenant for you. Nor do Purple Frog or your landlord accept responsibility if you are unable to find a replacement.
If we successfully source a tenant that all parties to the tenancy are happy to accept and this person satisfies all required like-for-like rental terms and subsequently moves in, Purple Frog take no responsibility for this person during the remaining period of the tenancy and accept no liability for the suitability of the tenant whatsoever.
Your housemates and Landlord
Everyone on your tenancy agreement will need to approve any replacement, this includes the landlord and your housemates. As such it's important to make sure you sit down with your housemates and explain the situation to them, chances are they might know someone who wants to move in.
You will ALL need to sign the Novation agreement in order for it to be valid.
Important: You will be required to continue making your rent payments until a replacement tenant is found. If you don't, you will incur late payment fees and legal action may be taken against you and your guarantor. Purple Frog or the landlord may ask you to return your keys to the property in advance of a new tenants’ expected move in date, that will not indicate acceptance of surrender of your tenancy.
When You've Found Someone
Once you've found a replacement tenant and your other housemates are happy with them, you'll need to fill in the Novation form below, to let us know the person's name, mobile phone number and email address. We'll then prepare the relevant paperwork to be completed.
Important: Your obligations don't end until all documentation is completed to your landlord's satisfaction. Remember they must also satisfy the same rental security as yourself (e.g. UK guarantor, pay rent upfront, etc). Neither Purple Frog or your landlord will accept responsibility for your portion of the tenancy, if the Novation does not complete.
Do not hand over your keys to any new tenant, or return them to the office, until we have confirmed that the paperwork is complete.
Please note that the Novation must happen during normal office hours and we must have at least five working days' notice that it will take place. This is because we will need to inspect the room before the new tenant moves in and you might have to hand your keys to us.
Once the paperwork is complete and the new tenant has moved in and you have paid your relevant administration fee, we will arrange your deposit return.