Invoking break clause after Landlord serves Tenant notice

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    Invoking break clause after Landlord serves Tenant notice

    After being unable to reach an agreement on a proposed rent increase, I have been served notice to vacate my current flat in 2 months. I am thinking carefully about my options at present, and
    I have looked into the break clause in my contract, but want to just check on the wording -- I am hoping you can help me in interpreting/understanding these; The exact text is follows:

    Mutual Break Clause
    Any time after 6 months of the initial fixed term of this tenancy, the Tenant may invoke this break clause by providing a minimum of one month's written notice to the Landlord (such notice to expire on the last day of a rental period of the tenancy).

    Any time after 6 months of the initial fixed term of this tenancy, the Landlord may invoke this break clause by providing a minimum of one month's written notice to the Tenant (such notice to expire on the last day of a rental period of the tenancy).

    At the end of such notice the tenancy shall end and all obligations and responsibilities shall cease; subject nevertheless to any claim by either party against the other in respect of any breach of any of the terms and conditions of the agreement.


    (FYI: My tenancy is a 12-month AST which started: 13 May 2017, and is due to end: 12 May 2018. Rent is due on the 13th of every month.)

    What I don't quite understand is the phrase in brackets "(such notice to expire on the last day of a rental period of the tenancy)"
    What is considered the "rental period" - is this the full 12 months, or the 1 month intervals at which I pay rent?

    For example, if I invoke the break clause on Friday, 16 Mar 2018, by submitting notice in writing, does the break clause wording allow me to move out on/before 15 Apr 2018? Or because I will have entered the "April" month (which starts on 13 April), does the wording in the break clause mean that I'm liable for that final full month of rent (ie: from 13 Apr - 12 May)?

    I can't afford to have too big an overlap between properties, but also don't want to be left homeless when it comes to 12 May. I also don't want find myself in the situation where I give 1 months notice, move out, and then discover I'm liable for the final month of rent, and subsequently have to fight to get my desposit back.

    Throughout this process, the landlord/letting agent have been very unwilling to negotiate (each of 3 proposals actually made me worse and worse off), and the rate they're asking for seems unreasonable to me, at 250-300/month above what appears to be the market average for similar properties in the same postcode -- particularly when, having spoken to three other agencies today, rents are actually dropping in the area.

    So I'm proceeding with caution here, as I've found myself in a bit of a pickle, and want to make sure I fully understand what my contract says before speaking to them again.

    #2
    If the tenancy is just a fixed term, and does not make provision for it to continue periodically after the initial fixed term ends, then you can just leave by 12 May anyway as that's when the fixed term end.

    Unless the agreement make provision for apportionment of rent in the last month, or refund of prepaid rent covering period after the tenancy ends, you are liable for the whole month despite the ending of the tenancy mid-period by a break notice.
    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

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      #3
      What is considered the "rental period" - is this the full 12 months, or the 1 month intervals at which I pay rent?
      The rental period will be defined in the tenancy agreement.

      There'll be some kind of text relating to term, that says the tenancy begins on 13th May 2017 and ends on 12th May 2018.
      The 12th of each month is the end of a rental period (assuming the rent is paid monthly).

      Conventionally rent is due on the first day of the rental period, so ending at the end avoids any queries about part months.

      The earliest date you could serve your break clause notice to end is 12th May, and as KTC has noted, you would almost certainly be able to leave then without notice.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment

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