6 Month Break Clause Wording Advice

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    6 Month Break Clause Wording Advice


    We have a 6-month break clause in our TA, the exact wording is:

    "The landlord and tenant may terminate this agreement after 6 months by giving 2 months prior written notice to the other of their intention of doing so."

    We were under the impression that we could therefore
    a)give notice in month 4, and leave in month 6.

    Our LL is of the opinion that we can only

    b)give notice in month 6, and leave in month 8.

    So my question is:

    Which interpretation do you agree with? a or b?

    Also, how do I challenge my landlord if he won't change his mind? Would I have to hire a lawyer?

    Many thanks for your help!

    I'm not sure that's any better wordings than this one:


    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.


      The clause sets out the tenant's right to break the lease at 6 months and how to do that, not when notice can be given. You can give notice on day 1, although its poorly written as it states "2 months" (exactly) rather than "at least", but would be judged on balance in favour of the tenant.

      Who are all the LL's that don't understand their own leases? And who are all these tenants that want to move on after such a short space of time?


        I read that as a right to leave after six months having given the landlord two month's notice previously.
        Otherwise I don't see what the "prior" is for.
        If the landlord's interpretation was correct, the word "prior" is redundant.
        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).


          I would go with your interpretation as its unlikely the landlord will try to sue you because he would not win.


            Agreed, give valid notice (in writing, email, get proof of posting). Leave by expiry, Take LOADS of photos (not very good quality images - think about it), make sure you return keys or post back through letter-box by expiry.

            Doubt landlord will sue. But he has the right to if he wishes. In your shoes I'd point him at this thread.
            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...


              I agree notice can be given at month 4 to determine after the tenancy 6 months. Write to the landlord and tell him that is what you are going to do and that is the proper construction of the clause. Incidentally I've discovered a good alternative to sending by tracked mail without having to queue up in the postoffice. DHL will come to my door, collect a letter with full tracking and deliver anywhere in the UK the next day for nine quid. The max payload at this price is 500grams. Not bad at all


                Royal Mail will collect a letter or small parcel for 72p plus the normal cost of postage.

                You have to print labels out yourself, and they'll stamp a proof of posting certificate.
                I've only ever used it once (it only started a few weeks ago) but it was great.

                I'm never going to the post office again!
                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).


                  Thank you everyone for your help!

                  Glad this wasn't just me and my partner interpreting the contract wrong. We also reached out to some acquaintances working in letting agencies and they too confirmed that we can move out after 6 months, provided that we give 2 months' notice.

                  We will be doing so.

                  If needed, we will refer our landlord to the "Unfair contract terms guidance", where it clearly states that:

                  "2.49 A term that fails to meet the transparency test alone is not, like a term that creates an unfair imbalance, unenforceable against the consumer. However, where lack of transparency results in ambiguity, so that there is more than one possible meaning and potentially confusion, the court is required to apply the interpretation most favourable to the consumer. This provides a degree of consumer protection while allowing the court to enforce the contract in such a way as to interfere as little as possible with the transaction as agreed between the parties"

                  Thank you!


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