How easily you can give up a rented home depends on the type of tenancy agreement you have, whose name is on the lease and how long you have been there.
Your tenancy agreement
If you have just taken out a new tenancy, you are likely to be tied to the property for a fixed period of time and it will be difficult to change this arrangement before the end of the tenancy unless the landlord agrees.
However, if you have continued to rent a property beyond the initial term, you may only have to give your landlord a month's notice to end the tenancy.
If the tenancy agreement is in both your names, you are both responsible for paying the full rent each month. If you plan to move out, contact the landlord to see whether you can take your name off the tenancy, otherwise it is possible that you may still remain responsible for the rent. Similarly, if your spouse or civil partner leaves, you should inform your landlord straightaway. The full amount of rent will still be payable and you will need to agree how it is going to be paid in future with your spouse or civil partner. If you partner does not pay, then you will be responsible for the whole of the payments.
You should check the wording of your tenancy agreement carefully so that you and your spouse or civil partner can decide the best way to proceed. Speak to a solicitor if you are unsure of your rights - see Useful links.
Your right to stay
If you are married or in a civil partnership, a court can usually order that a tenancy be transferred from one of you to the other, or that it be transferred from joint names to just one of you. This is a very complicated area of the law, so get advice from a solicitor – see Useful links.