Break clause

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  • Break clause

    Hi

    I am currently in month 7 of a 12 month AST but am looking to use the break clause to end the contract in month 10. Does the following clause allow this to happen?

    "It is agreed that the tenant may terminate this agreement by giving 1 months written notice to the Landlord at 5 months and on the expiry of such notice the Tenancy will come to an end without prejudice to any right of action which either or both parties may have against each other for any breach of this agreement"

    Does this mean the break clause could only be used at month 5 (to leave in month 6) or can be used any time after month 5.

    Thanks for your help

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tim1- View Post
    Does this mean the break clause could only be used at month 5 (to leave in month 6)
    Yes.

    The only possible argument you have is that the clause does not reflect what was agreed before the tenancy began.

    Comment


    • #3
      You can leave any time you like provided you give at least as stated in lease one month notice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by sundance View Post
        You can leave any time you like provided you give at least as stated in lease one month notice.
        Why do you advise this when there is apparently no basis for it in the break clause reproduced by OP? Do you know something Lawcruncher does not?

        Please explain.
        '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

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        • #5
          The law breaker is not god nor am I, read the lease one months notice is all that is required all leases have different CONDITIONS written into them in this case as stated in lease one month required.I been a landlord for more years than most people been alive the law is an ass & leases are often twisted in there wording.Designed often to confuse, in this case if it came to court a decision I would guarantee he would win the day if it came to that.Tenant always has the upper hand beleive me, in this case the lease would be well in his favour anyway.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sundance View Post
            The law breaker is not god nor am I, read the lease one months notice is all that is required all leases have different CONDITIONS written into them in this case as stated in lease one month required.I been a landlord for more years than most people been alive the law is an ass & leases are often twisted in there wording.Designed often to confuse, in this case if it came to court a decision I would guarantee he would win the day if it came to that.Tenant always has the upper hand beleive me, in this case the lease would be well in his favour anyway.
            I have indeed read the break clause part of the lease and note that it clearly states that it may be invoked by giving written notice to the Landlord at 5 months ', not 'at any point from the end of the fifth month onwards'.

            It may be the case that judge would consider this misleading but what OP wants to know is his starting point, which is what Lawcruncher (who I am sure will be alarmed to see himself referred to a 'lawbreaker'!), established for him.
            '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
              I did not refer to the law crunsher as a law breaker I simply got his handle wrong.Niether was I aware you are in possesion of the said lease, any information or advice given on this forum is for guidance not law.I must say that if you read the lease you are better advised than I.Mine is an opinion & brought about through experience, all tenants are protected stongly by law any amount of clauses you put in a lease will not take away their rights.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sundance View Post
                You can leave any time you like provided you give at least as stated in lease one month notice.
                Originally posted by sundance View Post
                I did not refer to the law crunsher as a law breaker I simply got his handle wrong.Niether was I aware you are in possesion of the said lease, any information or advice given on this forum is for guidance not law.I must say that if you read the lease you are better advised than I.Mine is an opinion & brought about through experience, all tenants are protected stongly by law any amount of clauses you put in a lease will not take away their rights.
                You are right in saying that a LL cannot write into a tenancy agreement clauses which override a tenant's statutory rights or the LL's statutory obligations. There is however no statutory requirement for a break cause in an AST agreement therefore if one is included, its terms will be as described in the break clause. Within reason, they can stipulate whatever the two parties agreed before signing it.

                In the case of poorly worded break clauses, the tenant's legal right to end the tenancy and at what point(s), may well be open to interpretation. I can't think though that in this case it is obscure. 'At 5 months' surely means just that?
                '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


                • #9
                  Break clauses (like options and the like) are deemed to confer a privilege. What you see is what you get - at least if it is clear. Any conditions attached and time limits must be complied with strictly. Even a day is too late if you miss a deadline; "time is of the essence." It is like this so that the party to be served with notice exercising the right knows where he stands.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    He can leave any time he wishes I would like to see a case where a landlord has succesfully sued for breach of lease in cases like this.Where one judge decides what is a breach another will disagree the law as an ass LL loses every time.Can I just say in this case if he leaves a couple of months before the lease is up,I would say any reasonable LL would find this acceptable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sundance View Post
                      He can leave any time he wishes I would like to see a case where a landlord has succesfully sued for breach of lease in cases like this.Where one judge decides what is a breach another will disagree the law as an ass LL loses every time.Can I just say in this case if he leaves a couple of months before the lease is up,I would say any reasonable LL would find this acceptable.
                      It is not a matter of what 'any reasonable' landlord would find acceptable - not all landlords are decent, some don't even act within the law!

                      OP wanted to know their legal status. Lawcruncher (I got his/her 'handle' right 1st time out of courtesy) and Mind The Gap have given this information. You have given no explanation as to why you think the legal situation is not as they state. Perhaps you could provide some details of statute or case-law that would prove your point and over-rule the tenancy agreement? Otherwise, the TA stands and the break clause can only be activated at 5 months for departure at 6.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You are suggesting I got his or her handle wrong by being discourteous,I think this a sarcastic attitude, I respect the member & is judgement or interpretation of what he thinks the law is.We all have our own veiws that is why people use this forum for help & to advise & express their views of what the law is. I also noticed Tim 1- has made little or no reply must have got fed up I am sure.Please furnish me with the case law or statute you refer to.Seeing you seem to have all the answers I would like to see these points in law.I might add no offence or discourteousness is intended to any member who have read any post or thread I have put on these forums.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sundance View Post
                          Please furnish me with the case law or statute you refer to.Seeing you seem to have all the answers I would like to see these points in law.
                          No need for case law - the contract is clear enough, and as it doesn't restrict any of the tenants rights (indeed it gives extra rights) there is no law to over-rule it.

                          Originally posted by Tim1- View Post
                          "It is agreed that the tenant may terminate this agreement by giving 1 months written notice to the Landlord at 5 months and on the expiry of such notice the Tenancy will come to an end without prejudice to any right of action which either or both parties may have against each other for any breach of this agreement"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sundance View Post
                            You are suggesting I got his or her handle wrong by being discourteous.
                            Well, when you were notified of the mistake by mind the gap, you then proceeded to mis-name Lawcruncher again - only this time differently. That's either discourteous or careless - your choice

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I cannot quote a case that says that time is of the essence in respect of exercising a notice to break. Five minutes Googling failed to turn one up. However, I did find this: http://www.lees.co.uk/business-case-...CaseStudyId=52 Scroll down to "time of the essence".

                              As has been said above, the terms of a break clause are purely a matter of contract. Whilst in some cases it is necessary to provide for it if time is to be of the essence, break clauses are not such a case.

                              This is the law. Practical considerations may also weigh in. A landlord faced with a tenant who has served an invalid notice who walks away is in no different position from a landlord who faced with a tenant who has walked away before the end of a fixed term. He may conclude that he should cut his losses and not pursue the tenant, but I do not think that reasonableness comes into it. A landlord is just as entitled to require a tenant to respect a fixed term as a tenant. There are of course some who think that only landlords should be bound by fixed terms, but the law has yet to come round to their way of thinking.

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