If there is more than one tenant named on a tenancy agreement then the tenants will have joint and several liability.
Joint and several liability means all tenants are individually liable for all their obligations under the tenancy agreement; the rights and obligations under the tenancy are effectively shared between all the tenants. In turn, this means that it is not possible for a tenant to serve notice and end the tenancy just for them: the whole tenancy would come to an end, which would affect their co-tenants as well.
If one tenant does want to leave the property, and their co-tenants want to stay, then the current tenancy will need to end for everyone but the tenant(s) who want to stay can then choose to sign a new contract with the landlord.
What to do if one tenant wants to leave?
1. All tenants and the landlord should reach an agreement over when and how the tenancy will be ending. We have a break down of different options for ending a tenancy early here.
2. Sign a deed of surrender confirming when the current tenancy is ending and the terms that everyone has agreed to.
3. Ensure that a full end of tenancy inspection is carried out.
4. The landlord should make any necessary claims for damage to the property and ensure that the leaving tenant gets their share of the deposit back.
5. The remaining tenant(s) and landlord should sign a new tenancy agreement.
Information on this site is by way of general guidance only and may not apply in your particular circumstances. You should not act or refrain from acting upon information on this site without seeking independent legal advice.