Confusing Break Clause - help required

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  • Confusing Break Clause - help required

    Hi,

    I'm really glad I found this forum!

    I moved into a property last year and was told that I was signing a 12 month contract with a 6 month break clause and the agent informed me that I could either leave at 6 months or at 12 months. I asked if this meant the contract would be rolling until 12 months and was told no.

    I am just looking again at my contact as I will not be ready to leave after 6 months but do not want to stay in the property for the full 12 months.

    There are 2 parts to the document The first says AST agreement 'Agreement Particulars' it states:

    Point 5 titled 'Term of Tenancy'
    Twelve months from 13/11/2009 to 12/11/2010


    Point 6 titled 'Break Clause'

    The tenant shall be entitled to terminate this tenancy by giving notice to the landlord as follows:
    2.1 The period of notice to be a minimum of one calender month
    2.2 The notice can be served at any time during the tenancy term but will not take effect until after the first six months of the term
    2.3 The notice period will expire on the last day of a period of the tenancy and must be served in writing
    2.4 Notice must be served in accordance with the attached Tenancy Terms and conditions.

    This document has been signed by both parties.

    On reading this it seems to me that notice can be served any time after 6 months and that I do not have to stay for the full 12 month term - therefore if I handed in my notice in period 7 I could leave in period 8?

    however, the second part of the document is called Tenancy terms and conditions - common law tenancy - it seems pretty standard and is 6 pages of small print - this has not been signed however each page has been initalled in the corner (although they don't look like mine!!!)

    Here it states:

    3.1.2 The notice period must be for a minimum of 2 calander months to end no earlier than the last day of the term of the tenancy as shown in the attached particulars.

    This seems to contradict the first document - would they be able to hold me to the full 12 months as a result of this?

    Any advice would be appreciated - please let me know if you need any further information

    Thanks

    Amber

  • #2
    Originally posted by ambergrace View Post
    Hi,

    I'm really glad I found this forum!

    I moved into a property last year and was told that I was signing a 12 month contract with a 6 month break clause and the agent informed me that I could either leave at 6 months or at 12 months. I asked if this meant the contract would be rolling until 12 months and was told no.

    I am just looking again at my contact as I will not be ready to leave after 6 months but do not want to stay in the property for the full 12 months.

    There are 2 parts to the document The first says AST agreement 'Agreement Particulars' it states:

    Point 5 titled 'Term of Tenancy'
    Twelve months from 13/11/2009 to 12/11/2010


    Point 6 titled 'Break Clause'

    The tenant shall be entitled to terminate this tenancy by giving notice to the landlord as follows:
    2.1 The period of notice to be a minimum of one calender month
    2.2 The notice can be served at any time during the tenancy term but will not take effect until after the first six months of the term
    2.3 The notice period will expire on the last day of a period of the tenancy and must be served in writing
    2.4 Notice must be served in accordance with the attached Tenancy Terms and conditions.

    This document has been signed by both parties.

    On reading this it seems to me that notice can be served any time after 6 months and that I do not have to stay for the full 12 month term - therefore if I handed in my notice in period 7 I could leave in period 8?

    however, the second part of the document is called Tenancy terms and conditions - common law tenancy - it seems pretty standard and is 6 pages of small print - this has not been signed however each page has been initalled in the corner (although they don't look like mine!!!)

    Here it states:

    3.1.2 The notice period must be for a minimum of 2 calander months to end no earlier than the last day of the term of the tenancy as shown in the attached particulars.

    This seems to contradict the first document - would they be able to hold me to the full 12 months as a result of this?

    Any advice would be appreciated - please let me know if you need any further information

    Thanks

    Amber
    Is the second half referred to anywhere in the first?

    When you signed, was the second half there?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Dominic,

      Thanks for the reply,

      The second half is referenced under the break clause section:

      2.4 Notice must be served in accordance with the attached tenancy terms and conditions

      Yes I did see it but I don't remember initialling it

      Amber

      Comment


      • #4
        The phrase 'common law tenancy' worries me - are you in England/Wales?

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi, yes in England

          Comment


          • #6
            Clause 3.2 flatly contradicts clause 2. I think it just has to be completely ignored as the document will be construed against the landlord. Apart from anything else, clause 3.2 is a nonsense and is no break clause at all since it only allows the term to be ended on its last day.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Lawcrucher thanks for the reply - do you think I should contact the agency to discuss the matter now or just hand in my notice when ready as it states i am able to in the AST agreement particulars?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ambergrace View Post
                Hi Lawcrucher thanks for the reply - do you think I should contact the agency to discuss the matter now or just hand in my notice when ready as it states i am able to in the AST agreement particulars?
                Just give notice when you are ready.

                Comment

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