England based advice request : bailing out of a (AST) tenancy contract

In a flat with complete dickhead neighbours I’d really rather not be stuck next to. At worst I’m in this contract till May, but has anyone got any advice/experience of getting of AST contracts early? As I understand it there’s the formal negotiation route, but what might happen if I just left and stopped paying rent? Obviously this would entail the next place not needing a reference, but what other consequences are possible?

Unless you’ve got an early break clause then my understanding is you’d remain liable for the rent until May - the landlord/their agents could choose to take legal action for money owed (but ironically not immediately evict you due to the covid legislation).

Would suggest speaking to Shelter and/or CAB about your options, but I suspect beyond negotiating your way out (could you offer to pay some notice while they find a new tennant?) there won’t be too many avenues open to you that done have potential repercussions.