Break Clause Query

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    Break Clause Query

    Hi,
    I am new to this forum and wonder if someone could please help me with regards to the break clause in my tenancy agreement.

    We have been living in the property for 3 months and I have been offered a job opportunity in a different county, so will need to move in April. My landlord has said that we can’t leave, as the break clause doesn’t allow this. He said the earliest we can give notice is April to then leave in June.

    Does anyone know if there is any way I can get around this? I’m prepared to find new tenants, but am yet to hear back from the landlord as to whether this is acceptable. I have attached a photo of the break clause part in my agreement.

    Thank you for any advice.

    #2
    The photo is tiny. Can't actually read any of the text....
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      Apologies, it reads the following: ‘The Tenant must given the Landlord at least two months notice in writing if the Tenant wants to surrender the tenancy before the end of the fixed term. A surrender will not end the tenancy unless it is explicitly accepted in writing by the Landlord. The Landlord will normally accept the surrender but reserves the right not to do so in exceptional circumstances. The Tenant may only surrender the tenancy following the expiry of the first six months of the tenancy.’

      Comment


        #4
        What is the wording of the similar break clause for landlord to give notice to tenant, please?

        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


          #5
          Please complete & paste https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...ll-new-posters

          Comment


            #6
            How long is the fixed term?
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by sarahcr231 View Post
              Apologies, it reads the following: ‘The Tenant must given the Landlord at least two months notice in writing if the Tenant wants to surrender the tenancy before the end of the fixed term. A surrender will not end the tenancy unless it is explicitly accepted in writing by the Landlord. The Landlord will normally accept the surrender but reserves the right not to do so in exceptional circumstances. The Tenant may only surrender the tenancy following the expiry of the first six months of the tenancy.’
              The above is not a break clause. It only states what is the case anyway. It serves no purpose whatsoever other than to confuse people.

              When you signed up were you told the agreement had a break clause?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                The above is not a break clause. It only states what is the case anyway. It serves no purpose whatsoever other than to confuse people.
                It would be a break clause if the fixed term is (say) 12 months.

                Not a very useful one, though.
                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  It would be a break clause if the fixed term is (say) 12 months.

                  Not a very useful one, though.
                  It's no good at all. It leaves the landlord in control. A right to break has to be exercisable unilaterally otherwise it is no right to break.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It does mean the landlord can only decline in "exceptional circumstances".
                    Which is quite a high test.

                    So it's not completely useless.
                    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


                      #11
                      As jpk was insistent I thought I ought to have a look at the clause again. Having done so, I can see I failed to take it in correctly. It is not what I thought it was, which is the usual clause setting out terms if the tenant wants to surrender. It is not exactly a break clause since the tenant cannot simply give notice ending the tenancy. I think it amounts to an option to surrender - at least it is worded as such. I have never seen an option to surrender before as you always get a break clause which has the same effect. (A quick google reveals surrenders of options, but options to surrender.)

                      The wording allows the tenant to give notice at any time. He does not have to wait until the six months expires.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by sarahcr231 View Post
                        My landlord has said that we can’t leave, as the break clause doesn’t allow this. He said the earliest we can give notice is April to then leave in June.
                        LL appears to be wrong.

                        The clause at #3 says "The Tenant may only surrender the tenancy following the expiry of the first six months of the tenancy."; it does not say anything about when notice to surrender may be given.

                        As Lawcruncher says at #11, you can give notice at any time to surrender on any date that is
                        1. 2 or more months in the future, and
                        2. the first day after 6 months or later
                        The LL probably thinks the clause means "notice cannot be served in the first 6 months of the tenancy", but that is not what it says.
                        Be prepared to educate him.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          A surrender can't be in the future, a surrender has to happen "now".

                          I think what would actually be happening is that the tenant serves 2 month's notice and the landlord accepts it, making it valid.
                          I don't think it can actually be a "surrender".

                          If it is a surrender, it can't be offered in advance with any certainty it would be accepted on the desired day by the landlord. They might promise to, but they don't have to.

                          As it isn't worded as a break clause and looks like notice, I'd say the tenant can't serve it in the fixed term unless the landlord agrees to that.

                          And, fundamentally, until we know what the fixed term is, the discussion is a bit academic.
                          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


                            #14
                            Sorry for the late reply and thank you all for your replies. The fixed term is 3 years but we have been told there will be a rent increase after at 12 months.
                            If we don’t wish to accept the rise, we can leave.

                            We weren’t aware of a break clause when we moved in and only came to notice this clause once we needed to give notice!

                            The landlord has emailed me back and asked what date would we want to end the tenancy and move. I’ve replied but heard nothing back as yet

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Why did you sign an AST for a 3 year fixed Term?

                              Encouraging April/June date from LL but he could charge you rent for remaining fixed Term for his Agreement.

                              Comment

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