Surrendering a tenancy

If you have submitted your thesis (or are no longer a student for any other reason) and wish to surrender your tenancy, the University’s usual policy is to allow this as long as a replacement tenant has been found. The Graduate Accommodation Office will assist with this.

In exceptional circumstances, we may agree to release an existing tenant before a replacement has been found.  You will need to email the Graduate Accommodation Office setting out why you believe your circumstances are exceptional.

We suggest that if you wish to vacate early, it is sensible to apply to surrender your tenancy as early as possible, to increase the chances of a replacement tenant being found by your preferred surrender date.

Complete the Intention To Leave Form

  • The Intention To Leave Form is available here: Intention to Leave Form (20kb)
  • Provide supporting documentation as to why the surrender is requested/needed, for example, going on field leave or leaving due to medical reasons.
  • Provide details of the date you would prefer the surrender to be effective from, which must be at least 14 days after the date the Intention To Leave Form is submitted.
  • In the case of a joint tenancy, both tenants need to sign the Intention To Leave Form.

Arrange a replacement tenant

  • If you have identified a replacement tenant to take over your tenancy, please include their details on the Intention to Leave Form (20kb)
  • If you do not have a replacement tenant, the Graduate Accommodation Office will endeavour to help you find one. 
  • The University will carry out the necessary checks to ensure the replacement is an eligible student of the University of Oxford and not considered an unacceptable tenant

An unacceptable tenant is any person who: 

a, has breached any tenancy agreement with any other College or the University
b, has caused or is likely to cause a nuisance or disturbance to other students, tenants or occupiers
c, has any outstanding issues in respect of their studies or is in dispute with either the University or the College
d, has outstanding debt to the University or their College or is otherwise unlikely to be able to pay the rent or comply with of the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Confirm your surrender date

Once the surrender date is agreed, you will need to arrange an appointment at the Graduate Accommodation Office to transfer the tenancy to the replacement tenant.   In the case of a joint tenancy, both outgoing tenants must attend the appointment.

The Graduate Accommodation Office will confirm the opening balance and payment details to the replacement tenant, who will need to pay the opening balance in advance of the appointment.  This includes the deposit, which is equal to one month’s rent, and an initial rent payment depending on the transfer date:

  • If the transfer date is before the 15th of the month, the replacement tenant  will need to pay the rent from this date to the end of the month
  • If the transfer date is on or after the 15th of the month, the replacement tenant will need to pay the rent from this date to the end of the month plus an additional month’s rent.

Please note that payments by BACS or via the University’s Online Shop can take up to five days to clear into the University’s bank account.  Some banks may also charge for bank transfers so please enquire with your bank before making the transfer to ensure the Graduate Accommodation Office receives the correct amount.  

Attend the tenancy surrender appointment

  • At the appointment, a Surrender Agreement must be signed by you as the outgoing tenant and a Tenancy Agreement must be signed by the new tenant.  In the case of a joint tenancy, both outgoing tenants must sign the Surrender Agreement. Both these documents must be signed in person before you leave Oxford. 
  • If you wish to review the terms of these documents in advance of your appointment, our standard form of Tenancy Agreement is available online and the form of Surrender Agreement is available on request.
  • If the documents have not been signed by the agreed surrender date, the surrender will not be effective and the original tenancy will continue.  This includes the payment of rent and utility bills.

Check out

  • Once all documents have been signed and the check-out process has been completed, the Graduate Accommodation Finance Office will confirm the final balance due (if any) taking into account any pre-payments of rent.
  • As the outgoing tenant, you will also need to complete a form containing contact details and bank details for repayment of the balance of the deposit (if any) which will be returned within four weeks of the agreed surrender date. 
  • If you fail to remove all your belongings, leave rubbish behind or leave the property in a state which requires repairs or cleaning, charges will be made for this and deducted from your deposit in the usual manner.