no detail on 6 month break clause

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    no detail on 6 month break clause

    hi there,

    i'm new to the forum, so was wondering if anyone can help me.

    i have a 12 month AST with a 6 month break clause. unfortunately no where in my agreement (and i have checked each word of the agreement carefully) does it have details on how this works.

    i am already in my 8th month of my tenancy and thought that i could just give 1 months notice, but the estate agency has informed my landlord that i have to give 2 months notice, so he is sticking by that.

    a previous property i lived in also had a 6 month break clause which stated that i could give 1 months notice anytime after 6 months, but since this one doesnt have it...we are not sure what to do.

    who is right?

    thanks

    #2
    Please quote the exact wording of the break clause.

    Comment


      #3
      1.9 Initial TERM of the tenancy will be : 12 Months (6 month break clause)
      COMMENCEMENT date; from and including : 1st August 2009
      EXPIRY date; to and including : 31st July 2010


      that is the only thing that i have in the document that mentions the break clause... nothing else...

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by chania View Post
        1.9 Initial TERM of the tenancy will be : 12 Months (6 month break clause)
        COMMENCEMENT date; from and including : 1st August 2009
        EXPIRY date; to and including : 31st July 2010


        that is the only thing that i have in the document that mentions the break clause... nothing else...
        It won't work; that's a pitiful and utterly inadequate attempt at a meaningful clause.
        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


          #5
          i'm not sure what you mean? what wont work?

          does that mean that i will have to give a 2 month notice?

          Comment


            #6
            also, couldnt i argue that the 6 month break clause is there, so was meant to mean something?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by chania View Post
              i'm not sure what you mean? what wont work?

              does that mean that i will have to give a 2 month notice?
              Originally posted by chania View Post
              also, couldnt i argue that the 6 month break clause is there, so was meant to mean something?
              I meant that the clause is meaningless. Merely stating (6 month break clause) does not give anyone any rights to do anything.
              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


                #8
                yikes! that puts me in a difficult position as now my landlord and i cannot agree on a notice period.

                he's been advised by the estate agent that we have to give 2 months notice and because we dont know any better, we are scared that if we dont pay for June (even though we are not going to be there!), we would lose our deposit as payment for arrears.

                what should we do?

                (as a back up we are trying to find a replacement tenant, but if we gave adequate notice, then I dont see why should we be responsible for this...)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by chania View Post
                  also, couldnt i argue that the 6 month break clause is there, so was meant to mean something?
                  It may have meant to, but it failed. It doesn't say what you have to do to exercise the so-called break clause, so you can't exercise it.

                  You can argue whatever you like, (e.g. it was meant to mean you give 1 month's notice), but so can the landlord, (e.g. it was meant to mean 2 months'); neither of you can prove who's right, so arguing is pointess.

                  we are scared that if we dont pay for June (even though we are not going to be there!), we would lose our deposit as payment for arrears.

                  what should we do?
                  You should just be grateful LL is willing to release you from the contract early at all. You are liable for the rent for the whole of the fixed term otherwise.

                  (as a back up we are trying to find a replacement tenant, but if we gave adequate notice, then I dont see why should we be responsible for this...)
                  You can't give notice to end the tenancy sooner than the expiry of the fixed term, so to talk of adequate notice is meaningless.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    so because they didnt stipulate in the contract how to exercise the break clause i have to abide by whatever the agent says, even though its not in the agreement?

                    I feel it unfair that because the estate agency did not draw up the contract properly I have to pay for it.

                    how can i be grateful that the LL is willing to be let me out of the fixed term agreement when i should have been given that option in the first place? (the break clause)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You do have an option but it's a risky one; you could serve 1 or 2 months Notice on your landlord and then leave but you might forfeit your deposit and the landlord could try and recover any loss of rent through the courts. Your defence would be that you understood there to be a break clause after 6 months and that how it was to operate was excluded from the agreement. You might win but you might not. It is very sloppy of the agent not to have explained this but ultimately it's the landlord who will carry the can for any mistake by an agent.
                      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


                        #12
                        that is a risky move!!

                        on another note - i did have a question regarding the tenancy deposit protection stuff.

                        our LL has never done this, so what recourse do we have with this?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          That makes a huge difference, but check if the agent lodged it with a scheme first; otherwise you can take your landlord to court for 3 x the deposit and have your deposit refunded too if what you say is true.
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by chania View Post
                            so because they didnt stipulate in the contract how to exercise the break clause i have to abide by whatever the agent says, even though its not in the agreement?
                            If T wants to end the fixed term early, the LL can ask for whatever conditions he likes in exchange for agreeing an early surrender, because this is outside the terms agreed in the contract.

                            T then has the choice either to accept the conditions or to refuse and remain liable for rent for the whole of the fixed term.

                            I feel it unfair that because the estate agency did not draw up the contract properly I have to pay for it.
                            It was your responsibility to check the contract before signing it. If there was something you didn't understand, you should have got a solicitor to check it for you. Also, it works two ways - it could well have been the LL who wanted to exercise the break clause, in which case it'd be him having to put up with the consequences.

                            how can i be grateful that the LL is willing to be let me out of the fixed term agreement when i should have been given that option in the first place? (the break clause)
                            Because, in the circumstances, the LL is entitled to hold you to the contract, but he's willing to release you early. Some landlords wouldn't be willing. There is no automatic entitlement to a break clause in a tenancy agreement - yes, you thought you were signing a contract containing one, but it was your fault, I'm afraid, that you didn't understand what you were signing.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              i am not sure about whether the agent lodged it...the clause states:

                              1.12 The Landlord will hold the deposit , who will register the deposit within fourteen days of the commencement of
                              the Tenancy in accordance with the Housing Act 2004 and the Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed
                              Information) Order 2007.
                              Any interest earned WILL NOT belong to the tenant.

                              Comment

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