Extension of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy - effective date

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    Extension of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy - effective date

    Hello all

    Having never rented before, I am a little green so please forgive me.

    My partner and I began renting a house in May 2016, we signed a 12 month AST with a break clause at 6 months. In May of 2017 the landlord presented us with a document to sign confirming an extension of 12 months to the AST stating that the extension would be valid from 11/05/2017 to 10/05/2018.

    In May of 2018 we did not receive a further extension, so just continued to pay the rent as normal, in late June 2018 the Landlord made contact to say that this was an omission and that he would send a further sheet for us to sign again extending the AST. However, this time it states that the extension is valid from 11/05/2018 to 10/07/2019 a period longer than the initial AST it was extending. It also goes on to say that all clauses will remain the same but for a change in rent that will take effect from 11/07/2018.

    I was ok with all this, until earlier this week when the opportunity to rent a house I love came up, so my question is this:

    When is the 6 month break clause effective?

    Is it the original anniversary date in May? In which case we have now missed the opportunity to take advantage of it?
    Is it from when the extension was signed or is it from when the effective date of the contract amendment was made?

    Any help anyone can give would be extremely welcome.

    Many thanks

    #2
    Please quote EXACT break clauses (both for you & landlord)
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      The break clause contained within the original AST is as follows:

      Term: 12 Months with 6 month 'Break Clause' Six months into the Tenancy, a 'Break Clause' is applicable by either party where written Notice to quit the property can be given. The Statutory Notice period must be observed by the relevant parties before the six month period ends. The Tenant must provide written Notice of at least one month in line with the start date and the Landlords must provide at least two months Notice in line with the start date ie 10th of any month. If Notice has not been received by either party by the correct time the tenancy cannot be terminated for another six months unless by mutual consent between Landlord and Tenant. A fee may be applicable for an early break in contract other than at the 'Break point'.

      As I say this was in the original AST but the two extensions have been done only by a single sheet of A4 signed by both parties. Does each extension reinstate the option of the 'Break Clause'?

      All that said because the most recent extension was not issued an signed until June 2018 with changes effective from July 2018, I'm not all together clear when the clock has started ticking on the six months.

      Comment


        #4
        I'd talk to your landlord.

        In reality, it's not possible to extend a tenancy. A new 12 month tenancy would be created by the "extension", not an extension of the previous term.
        So, if the "extension" says that the same terms and conditions apply, then the term should be carried forward into the new agreement.

        Contracts with start dates normally start on the contractual start date not when they were signed or agreed, unless the contract says otherwise.
        So I'd say your current tenancy started on 11th May 2018.

        The break clause is so badly written that it's hard to see what it's meant to do.
        There's no Statutory Notice Period to observe - break clauses aren't statutory, and a tenant can't serve notice in the fixed term otherwise, so there's no tenant side statutory clause

        I think you can give on month's notice before 10th November to end on 10th December and it is probably valid.
        But I'm not sure the landlord will agree.

        On the other hand, if you served notice and moved into your loved house, I'm not sure that the contract would support his suing you for the remaining rent. It's just too badly written.
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by clovermead3 View Post
          The Tenant must provide written Notice of at least one month in line with the start date ... ie 10th of any month.
          This says to me that there is more than one month in which the tenancy can be ended.

          Term: 12 Months with 6 month 'Break Clause' Six months into the Tenancy, a 'Break Clause' is applicable by either party
          This suggests that the break clause cannot be executed before the end of the 6th month.



          If Notice has not been received by either party by the correct time the tenancy cannot be terminated for another six months unless by mutual consent between Landlord and Tenant. A fee may be applicable for an early break in contract other than at the 'Break point'.
          As jpkeates says, the entire break clause this is badly written, and this part appears to be meaningless given the earlier part.
          As the earlier part appears to allow notice by the 10th of any month, there is no 'correct time'.
          The "early break in contract other than at the 'Break point'" would therefore appear to mean "during the first 6 months" or "not terminating on 10th of a month",


          Assuming you had no say in the break clause terms, I believe that consumer law says that where terms are ambiguous or contradictory, they shall be interpreted in the way that is advantageous to the consumer (tenant), not the supplier (landlord).

          Comment


            #6
            speak to your landlord about ending your tenancy, be honest and you might get some 'leeway', especially if you help them find another tenant PDQ. landlords hate void periods when they don't receive rent, so you may end up paying double rent until they can fill their property, so its in your best interest to get the property looking as good as you can to attract someone in!

            allow unrestricted viewings etc and be as helpful as possible. some landlords are only human and will try to help, especially if it doesn't cost them anything. there may be some minor works that they have put off as it would cause disruption, that you could allow them to do, touch up paintwork for them if necessary. in short, do everything you can to get another tenant in quickly !

            Comment


              #7
              As other have said, the wording of the break clause is very muddled. I think it is just about possible to extract some meanng from it. The first point though is whether it applies to the current tenancy. As suggested, that depends of the wording of the "extension" agreement. Perhaps you can let us have the wording.

              Comment

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