What to do in absence of break clause?

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    What to do in absence of break clause?

    We are in the process of negotiating a lease for a family house. We would like to rent the property for 12 months, but were surprised that the LA would not agree to a break clause. We are reluctant to commit to 12 months without this given the economic climate, although are likely to stay there for 12 months. So, instead they have offered us a 6 month lease that can be renewed for a further 6 months. However, they would increase the rent by £100 per month in the second 6 months, and charge us a renewal fee of £75 +VAT. This seems a lot to me. The LA also mentioned that they would contact us 3 months before the end of the tenancy to know whether we wanted to renew. So, 3 months in we'd be asked to make a decision about the rest of the year. Any advice or negotiation tips?
    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    What is the minimum fixed term that you would wish to sign up for? Decide and stick to that.

    At the end of the fixed term, if you do not agree to a rent increase it cannot be imposed on you without mutual agreement. You should perhaps be prepared to move at this point or negotiate a smaller increase.

    If the negotiations for this letting does not suit you, find somewhere else.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Poppy View Post
      At the end of the fixed term, if you do not agree to a rent increase it cannot be imposed on you without mutual agreement.
      Not so. L can then serve a Notice under s.13, to increase rent.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


        #4
        Yes sorry. If there is no provision written into the tenancy agreement the landlord can serve a section 13 notice to increase rent after the end of the fixed term.

        Comment


          #5
          The agents' stance is outrageous and is calculated to generate fees for them! It is not for them to decide on what terms you let the property. Sack them immediately. You do not want them for agents.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
            The agents' stance is outrageous and is calculated to generate fees for them! It is not for them to decide on what terms you let the property. Sack them immediately. You do not want them for agents.
            Lawcruncher, I think OP is the prospective tenant, not the LL.

            OP, I am amzed in this economic climate, with so many rental properties on the market, that this agent has the audacity to dictate terms like this. I would be tempted to tell him to take a running jump.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. Mind the gap - yes, we are amazed too. They seem to be in another world. None of the other agents in the area seem to object to break clauses on a 12 month agreement. It's a shame as it's a nice house, but I think we'll walk away. It's been on the market for 3 months already!

              Comment


                #8
                If you think you like this property, why not negotiate a fixed term of nine or ten months?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by bushdr View Post
                  Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. Mind the gap - yes, we are amazed too. They seem to be in another world. None of the other agents in the area seem to object to break clauses on a 12 month agreement. It's a shame as it's a nice house, but I think we'll walk away. It's been on the market for 3 months already!
                  You could write them a final note/email giving your terms - tell them you have found a similar house in same area for less - give them a deadline. You may wish to send it to the LL as well as the agent, just in case agent is holding out for more commission knowing LL may agree to your terms.

                  Good luck!
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                    Yes sorry. If there is no provision written into the tenancy agreement the landlord can serve a section 13 notice to increase rent after the end of the fixed term.
                    Only valid if tenant has been in occupation for at least 52 weeks - it won't work for the (initial) 6 months fixed term.
                    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                      Only valid if tenant has been in occupation for at least 52 weeks - it won't work for the (initial) 6 months fixed term.
                      True. It's not clear- from post #1- whether T is taking a term of six or twelve months.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        To clarify, we would like to take a 12 month tenancy with a break clause. However the LA won't agree to this, wanting a 12 month fixed with no break, or a 6 month fixed, that can then be renewed for a further 6 months, but the rent would increase.

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