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Question

Tenancy Agreements (England) | Tenant Wants to Leave (England)

Is this a break clause at 6 months?

1 Mar 2016 | 2 comments

I may have potential new tenants for my flat in June 2016. However, the potential tenants are not sure if they can leave their current tenancy. I am not certain if the agreement is stating that they can give notice after the initial 6 months. Please help.

Their original terms of tenancy:
The Landlord lets to the Tenant for a period of 12 months and 0 days. The tenancy shall start on and include the 21/12/2014 and shall end on and include the 20/12/2015. Either the Landlord or the Tenant shall have the right to terminate the tenancy, by giving not less than 2 months notice in writing to that effect, not to be served before six months of the term have expired and upon the expiration of such and everything herein contained shall cease and be void subject nevertheless to the right of the parties in respect of any antecedent breach of any of the covenants herein contained. The period of notice must expire at the end of a period being on the 20th day of a month.

The tenants have signed again with that landlord in Dec 2015 – this time with a Memorandum of Agreement:-
It has been agreed between the Tenant and the Landlord that the agreement shall be extended on the same terms and conditions as the said agreement for a further 12 months from 21 December 2015 to 20 December 2016.

Answer

2 Comments

  1. guildy

    This is why I absolutely detest break clauses. They are simply horrible. If the landlord and tenant were agreeing they could leave after six months, why not just do a six month tenancy???

    Anyway, the way I read it (but I agree it’s not clear) is that the landlord or tenant can give two months notice during the term but not serve it before six months in. Therefore, the landlord or tenant can give 2 months notice anytime from 21 June 2016 onwards. Effectively though 3 months will be needed because it needs to expire on the 20th so the 20th August will be too soon (as it won’t be 2 full months). Therefore, the earliest the notice can expire will be the 20 September 2016.

    As the House of Lords once said (not an exact quote) – if the break clause requires the notice to be written on blue paper but is instead written on green paper, it will be invalid.

    A break clause has to be followed absolutely precisely.

    Also see our article on break clauses here

  2. amber

    Thank you very much! This is invaluable.
    What a shame. These would have been such good tenants.

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