Using 6-month break clause; L refusing to do works

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  • Using 6-month break clause; L refusing to do works

    We are having problems with our landlord and really don't want to live here anymore.

    Our tenancy has a break clause that reads:
    this agreement may be terminated by either party giving to the other notice (at least 2 months from the landlord, at least one month from the tenant) in writing to expire any time after 6 months from the commencement date of this agreement as specified in the clause 'term' under the heading 'particulars' of this agreement.

    but then there is also a section that says
    Early Termination: In the event of this agreemnt being terminated before the end of the stated period by the tenant in any way, the Tenant agress to pay the full cost of re-letting the property and any loss of rent incurred by the landlord as a result of the tenant's action.

    The Term - reads
    The tenancy will be for a term from and including the 07/08/2009 ('The commencement date') to and including 06/08/2010 ('the expiration') date.

    I would appreciate any insights into this as we currently have to put up with the landlady calling our mobile from the top of the drive to say she is coming to see us and sometimes just turning up at the door.

  • #2
    A break clause does not constitute early termination as it's a legal right to end the tenancy without penalty. I would say that early termination would be if the tenant tried to end it prematurely without exercising the break clause option.

    Your landlady cannot just visit you unannounced if you don't want her to. She is obliged to give a minimum of 24 hours written Notice, but you can still refuse her entry.
    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


    • #3
      is early termination the same as bringing forward the date of expiry?

      The word 'termination' is used in the break clause, but does the exercise of the break clause mean that termination is 'early'?

      Interestingly, the damages for early termination is in respect of the agreement, not the tenancy (or term).

      I think the two clauses are compatible therefore, exercise of the break clause does not bring the agreement to an end prematurely, but instead reduces the term.

      However, chances are the LL will try to sting you. But according to the contra proferentem rule it will be for the LL to prove that it means what she thinks it means, not the other way round.

      Is the break clause called a break clause?

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies so far

        Yes Dominic this section definitely states Tenancy Break Clause.

        We originally had a six month contract that was raised by Greys Lettings. At the end of that we received the 12 month one but it actually looks like they have used the old one and just changed the section entitled The Term. section 60 Tenancy Break Clause is the same on both versions. The second one is not witnessed by a member of the Greys staff and as the landlord and her brother self-manage I don't think they went to them for the new one.

        Will the LL be able to withhold the deposit until any dispute on this is settled do you think?

        They are planning on selling the bungalow and the land for development once an access dispute has been resolved and so are unwilling to do any repairs. We have been waiting 8 months for a new garage roof and the plumber came out 5 times for blocked water pipes in the bathroom. We were given £150 rebate on that after being without a bath or shower for 5 days. After the 5th episode we demanded that they fit an electric shower. We have had enough now of having no privacy and the final straw was her and her son turning up on Saturday morning before we were dressed to fix a drainpipe which she had previously tried to say was our fault due to falling leaves not being cleared. It took us photographing the downpipe and the hole before she accepted liability and her punishment was to turn up unannounced for the 3rd time that week.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the "Early Termination" clause has to be taken as not applying if the right to break is exercised. If it applied the right to break would hardly be a right to break at all. Logically, if the right is exercised then the tenancy comes to an end and no more rent is due; there is therefore no rent that can lost.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by salsal View Post
            Will the LL be able to withhold the deposit until any dispute on this is settled do you think?
            Unfortunately, yes they will. The dispute can either be settled in court or via the deposit protection schemes arbitration service.

            Comment


            • #7
              None of this matters anymore...

              Last week I called Environmental Health to ask how we can get rid of the mold on the outside wall after the LL said it was our fault. We haven't yet had the report but the LL was advised by the EHO but I had already told her. She was here when I told the EHO that I only wanted that advice but he said he had to check the whole property but that she couldn't kick us out because of it

              Today at 6.40 the two LL's turned up on the doorstep and served us with a section 21. So far we haven't been able to find a house to rent and now we have 2 months and no longer any leeway. I am a LL for our house 200 miles away and I treat my tenants perfectly. LLs like our's give us all a bad name - how can my family and I enjoy Easter now with this hanging over us??

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by salsal View Post
                really don't want to live here anymore.
                Originally posted by salsal View Post
                Today at 6.40 the two LL's turned up on the doorstep and served us with a section 21.
                Silver lining?

                As a landlord yourself, you will appreciate that a s21 notice does not compel you to leave on it's expiry date and that landlord still has repairing obligations while you have a tenancy - even if that goes beyond the expiry date of the s21.

                You have probably verified the s21 as valid - but if you are not sure, post the details on here & we'll check.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by salsal View Post
                  None of this matters anymore...

                  Last week I called Environmental Health to ask how we can get rid of the mold on the outside wall after the LL said it was our fault. We haven't yet had the report but the LL was advised by the EHO but I had already told her. She was here when I told the EHO that I only wanted that advice but he said he had to check the whole property but that she couldn't kick us out because of it

                  Today at 6.40 the two LL's turned up on the doorstep and served us with a section 21. So far we haven't been able to find a house to rent and now we have 2 months and no longer any leeway. I am a LL for our house 200 miles away and I treat my tenants perfectly. LLs like our's give us all a bad name - how can my family and I enjoy Easter now with this hanging over us??
                  I know it is stressful, but you will find somewhere. If push comes to shove and you are unable to move out when the s21 notice expires then you will have a few weeks' leeway as your LLs will have to apply for a court order for possession and that will take time.

                  Look on the bright side. At least you can choose somewhere which isn't mouldy.

                  If you want to stay in the same area, it might be worth being proactive about advertising yourself - newsagents, local paper, noticeboards at work, etc. Also, it is worth contacting estate agents and asking if they have any vendors on their books who would consider renting instead if the property is not selling as quickly as they hoped. My friend did this and got a lovely house for two years.

                  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
                    They have printed a form of the internet V0507 from the residential landlords association website and it all looks okay..

                    Just reeling from how they can put us through so much rubbish then ruin Easter like this. What happened to recorded delivery that wouldn't arrive until Tesday. The rental date is 6th so they could have done that and still had an expiry date of 6th June.

                    It would be asilver lining if it wasn't for the fact that there is absolutely nothing round here. I have viewed 2 houses today and for £1200 rent they were absolutely disgusting, still having tenants in with so much work to be done out of the deposit that they were both unfit to be inhabited and not worth the rent. Also on both visits the agent admitted that there was no guarantee that the repairs would be done when we moved in. They were the only two 4 bed houses within 10 miles of our search area.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by salsal View Post
                      What happened to recorded delivery that wouldn't arrive until Tesday. The rental date is 6th so they could have done that and still had an expiry date of 6th June.
                      RD is not recommended because the tenant can refuse receipt - thus preventing service.

                      Okay,
                      • what were the exact dates of the original AST?
                      • How long was it for
                      • Did you pay a deposit
                      • Was it protected?
                      • Is the notice served under s21(1)(b) or s21(4)(a)
                      • I haven't got access to the RLAs s21, so can you give us the exact wording relating to the expiry date.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just goes to show Snorkerz as I would have sent it recordered delivery - what do I know? Told you I have a good relationship with my tenants

                        what were the exact dates of the original AST?
                        07/08/2009 - 06/08/2010


                        * How long was it for
                        12 months with break clause after 6 months

                        * Did you pay a deposit
                        yes £1350

                        * Was it protected?
                        yes with DPS

                        * Is the notice served under s21(1)(b) or s21(4)(a)
                        s21(1)(b)

                        * I haven't got access to the RLAs s21, so can you give us the exact wording relating to the expiry date.
                        After the expiry of this notice - this notice expires AFTER then handwritten (6 June 2010

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sadly, sounds like LL has done his homework.

                          Did you get the 'prescribed information' required by DPS?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            we have the repayment ID letter. I don't doubt his homework - just the integrity

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by salsal View Post
                              we have the repayment ID letter. I don't doubt his homework - just the integrity
                              That's not the same - you should have had this or something similar.

                              Comment

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