Ending a tenancy at the break clause

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  • Ending a tenancy at the break clause

    Apologies if this has already been answered - I just can't find it!

    My partner (landlord) wants to end an assured shorthold tenancy at the 6 months break-clause. Do we just need to give 2 months notice in writing?

    For example, the tenancy started on 1 October so can we serve notice before 1 February for possession after 31 March i.e. on 1 April?

    I have read the section 21 information and section 8 but don't think either are relevant.

    Many thanks for your help!

  • #2
    You can end the fixed term with the break clause, but that does not entitle you to possession, it just brings the fixed term to a premature end and a statutory periodic tenancy will commence if the tenants do not voluntarily leave at the break date.

    So, serve a letter giving adeguate notice to bring the fixed term to an end. Then serve a section 21 notice so that you can commence a possession claim if the tenants do not depart as desired (it is their right to stay).

    Others may be able to give you more specific advice if you quote the exact break clause.

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    • #3
      Thank you very much for your help - that is much clearer.

      The tenancy agreement states:

      8.2 It is hereby agreed and understood between the parties that either the Tenant or the Landlord may terminate the tenancy by giving not less 2 months advance written notice, provided that such notice does not expire during the first 6 months of the tenancy. Upon the expiration of such notice the tenancy shall thereupon be terminated but without prejudice to the rights and remedies of either party against the other in respect of any antecedent claim or breach of covenant.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bush-Baby View Post
        the tenancy started on 1 October so can we serve notice before 1 February for possession after 31 March i.e. on 1 April?....

        ...The tenancy agreement states:

        8.2 It is hereby agreed and understood between the parties that either the Tenant or the Landlord may terminate the tenancy by giving not less 2 months advance written notice, provided that such notice does not expire during the first 6 months of the tenancy. Upon the expiration of such notice the tenancy shall thereupon be terminated but without prejudice to the rights and remedies of either party against the other in respect of any antecedent claim or breach of covenant.
        Yes, you can serve notice under the break clause before 1st Feb 2012 but the notice cannot expire before 1st April 2012.

        As Snorkerz explained, the effect of the notice is only to end the fixed term early. It entirely depends on the T's actions as to whether or not the tenancy will end. If the T moves out at notice expiry (i.e. newly curtailed fixed term expiry), the tenancy will end; if he doesn't, then a statutory periodic tenancy will automatically arise (a.k.a. rolling contract) under the same terms (i.e. rent payable etc) as the current fixed term contract.

        A s.21 notice is a completely separate matter, but essential if you need to go on to apply for a possession order (in the event T fails to vacate). In your case it would be possible to comply with the requirements of both s.21 and the break clause in a single notice but I personally think it's better to keep them separate.

        If you serve notice in January under the break clause and it expires on 1st April, you can then serve a s.21 notice (a few days later, just to be sure the first notice has been deemed served) saying you require possession, and again giving T two months' notice (which will expire a few days after the first notice). Allow plenty of 'room' in the notice period - don't aim for *exactly* two months, that's just the minimum and a few days extra is preferable and avoids arguments about whether enough notice has been given.

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        • #5
          Thank you very much - apologies for not replying sooner but I was away.

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