Break clause- two months' notice- but operative when?

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    Break clause- two months' notice- but operative when?

    Hi all,

    Great forum here, I've searched but did not find an answer for my particular question.

    I am a tenant, and am in disagreement with the lettings agency regarding the wording of the break clause in the contract. It is as follows:

    "This agreement may be terminated by either party giving of two month's notice in writing to the other, such notice not to take effect before the expiration of six months from the commencement of the tenancy, subject always to the requirements of the Housing Act 1988 in relation to notices served by the Landlord"

    I've used the bold font because that's exactly how the above paragraph looks like in the contract.

    So is the breakclause 4 months + 2 months, or 6 months + 2 months.

    Funny thing is, both agent and I see the other's POV. We commented how the wording is like the simple drawing of a 3D box: you blink your eyes and the angle changes, and you blink again and it goes back to the first angle

    So, can I leave on the 6th month, or do I have to pay up until the 8th?

    #2
    I would have thought the notice "takes effect" when it expires. So you would serve it at month 4 to take effect at end of month 6.

    fwiw
    Now signature free.

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      #3
      Agree with lorenzo.

      What was the fixed term? If it is 6 months, then you could walk away at 6 months with no notice, as 2 months notice to end on the fixed term is unfair term, and can be ignored.

      But its best to give notice if you can.
      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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        #4
        Thanks for the replies, yes I should have mentioned that it was 12 month contract.

        If no one else replies I will assume therefore that I am in the right.

        Comment


          #5
          I don't agree. The wording "takes effect" in my view means that you cannot give the notice at all before the expiry of the six month term. So you would serve a minimum of 8 months in the property before being entitled to leave (that is without incurring costs for breaching the contract early).

          I consider that the two months notice "takes effect" when it is delivered to the landlord or the tenant as a notice of intent.

          Anyone want to PROVE me wrong?????

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            #6
            Ambiguity in contracts! Don't you just love it, NOT!
            Now signature free.

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              #7
              Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
              I don't agree. The wording "takes effect" in my view means that you cannot give the notice at all before the expiry of the six month term. So you would serve a minimum of 8 months in the property before being entitled to leave (that is without incurring costs for breaching the contract early).

              I consider that the two months notice "takes effect" when it is delivered to the landlord or the tenant as a notice of intent.

              Anyone want to PROVE me wrong?????
              A Notice "takes effect" when it comes into force, not when it is merely given.
              The clause even mentions "giving notice", visibly distinguished from "take effect"!
              I agree with Bel and Lorenzo- sorry, David.
              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).

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                #8
                But Jeffrey, surely the notice is "in force" during its running period. And you have not PROVEN me wrong!!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hmmmmm

                  I would say that the "effect of the notice" (which is to leave) should not occur until 6 months have expired ... Clearly notice given after 4 to leave after 6 months...

                  "giving of two month's notice in writing to the other, such notice not to be served before the expiration of six months" would make it 6 then 8 to leave .....

                  with the "content" of the notice "taking effect as per notice"?

                  Is this not plain English ?

                  Personally if you want to leave, i would be serving after 4 and leaving after 6 and seeing LL/LA in court if they disagree!!!!!!!!!.....LOL

                  Simon
                  A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                  W.Churchill

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                    #10
                    David, bel lorenzo and jeffrey are correct
                    I was given notice to quit by la/ll 1 month prior to my 6 month break clause, giving me until 1 month after to leave
                    Funny thing is, there wasnt even a 6 month break clause in the tenancy agreement so i could've stayed the whole 12 months if i had wanted to be awkward but we wanted to relocate anyway so they did us a favour
                    Please note i may be in pumpkin mode, the light might be on but i may not be here

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Any ambiguity in a contract is presumptively in favour of the consumer i.e. tenant. I'm with Jeffery on this one as the Notice takes effect after 6 months not the service of the Notice. As the Notice doesn't appear to have been negotiated separately it appears only available to the tenant to serve such Notice on the landlord and not vice-versa.
                      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.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by sibec View Post
                        "This agreement may be terminated by either party giving of two month's notice in writing to the other, such notice not to take effect before the expiration of six months from the commencement of the tenancy, subject always to the requirements of the Housing Act 1988 in relation to notices served by the Landlord"
                        Being picky again, but it also looks like the words "a minimum" might have been left out of the bold bit, seeing as the "of" doesn't make sense unless it means that you can only give EXACTLY 2 months' notice...

                        (sorry, couldn't help it...!)

                        And I agree, give notice at 4 months (or earlier, if you wish) to leave at 6 months.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                          Being picky again, but it also looks like the words "a minimum" might have been left out of the bold bit, seeing as the "of" doesn't make sense unless it means that you can only give EXACTLY 2 months' notice...
                          Hmm, not sure about that one - if I give you 3 months' notice then surely I have also given you any length of notice you care to name, up to and including 3 months. Being picky
                          (Altho I do see what you mean, and adding "a minimum of" would undoubtedly make it clearer, I don't agree that it is absolutely necessary.)

                          And I agree, give notice at 4 months (or earlier, if you wish) to leave at 6 months.
                          More pertinently, I (as a layman) interpret the meaning as this.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Reasonable View Post
                            Hmm, not sure about that one - if I give you 3 months' notice then surely I have also given you any length of notice you care to name, up to and including 3 months. Being picky
                            (Altho I do see what you mean, and adding "a minimum of" would undoubtedly make it clearer, I don't agree that it is absolutely necessary.)


                            More pertinently, I (as a layman) interpret the meaning as this.
                            Ok, I concede. <wanted to include a "grin" smiley here, but it wouldn't let me...>

                            I appreciate pickiness as picky or more so than my own! (Do you also proofread winelists in pubs? Dreadful, they are!)

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