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lynlee
16-06-2005, 15:02 PM
I am currently helping a (landlord) friend to avoid large agents' fees by assisting him to manage his property (he is officially an 'overseas' landlord). He has already had 2, 12-month ASTs with his present tenants, the initial agreement having been organised by his estate agent - who he has now parted company with. The tenants would like to renew again, however, as they are looking to buy somewhere themselves, they would like a break clause included this time 'round (of 8 months - i.e 6 months, plus 2 months notice - their suggestion).
My friend is happy to do that (and happy for them to stay longer than 8 months if they wish - not so happy with less), but, he is too busy to organise it himself, and would rather not pay lawyers' fees on this one. So, I have been doing some research, and I see that break clauses can be quite tricky!!

I guess I'm really after some feedback on what I've come up with so far, if poss - or other resources for this type of small job. (OR, should I advise my friend to bite the bullet with the lawyers?!).

"Special Tenancy Conditions.
If the Landlord or Tenant shall desire to determine the term hereby granted at any time during continuance of the said term then he shall give to the Landlord or Tenant two months notice in writing of such desire. Such notice however may not be served earlier than 6 months from the start date of this agreement, then immediately on the expiration of such notice. The present demise and everything herein contained shall cease and become void but without prejudice to the rights and remedies of either party against the other in respect of any antecedent claim or breach of covenant."

Many thanks - and apologies if this posting is a little long/boring!!

Lynlee

zoe
16-06-2005, 16:34 PM
why renu at all - what is wrong with just going on a periodic bassis ?

lynlee
16-06-2005, 17:11 PM
Well, lack of security really - would rather have an assured 6-8 months without having to worry/try to find new tenants should these ones leave, as the owner is intending to sell next year - hopefully in the Spring - anyway, so it gives a little more time to prepare, and a little more control over timing...

zoe
16-06-2005, 18:17 PM
It is hardly worth it for just 6 months!

also the wording of your contract is not plain english and therefore completly invalid.

If I were you I would go for the periodic.

MrWoof
16-06-2005, 19:42 PM
You have no real security even with a new contract, let it go on as a periodic tenancy, more flexible. Oh, and Zoe is perfectly right about the agreement, if you are going to continue in the business, get a plain English agreement.

Paul_f
16-06-2005, 20:02 PM
"Special Tenancy Conditions.
If the Landlord or Tenant shall desire to determine the term hereby granted at any time during continuance of the said term then he shall give to the Landlord or Tenant two months notice in writing of such desire. Such notice however may not be served earlier than 6 months from the start date of this agreement, then immediately on the expiration of such notice. The present demise and everything herein contained shall cease and become void but without prejudice to the rights and remedies of either party against the other in respect of any antecedent claim or breach of covenant."
Unfortunately the above is not compliant with the plain English guidelines in the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 so needs revision so that it can be understood by a "layperson" (i.e. village idiot!)

lynlee
16-06-2005, 22:15 PM
hmmmm.... I am a layperson (though perhaps not the village idiot ;)), and have been using previous tenancy agreements of my own as a partial basis (one from 2000!) - so that is very interesting! Thanks for the feedback everyone - much appreciated!

Gailforce
16-06-2005, 22:17 PM
There are two options, just let the present lease run under the same terms or issue a new twelve month lease with a six month break clause (in plain English of course!) either one of these is an acceptable option. Personally i would just let the current lease run

lynlee
16-06-2005, 22:23 PM
BTW, if my friend were to let the lease run, would it then be the case that he would simply need to give his tenants 2 months' notice in writing when he wanted the tenancy to end? (And, would they be obliged to give 2 months - or would that normally be only one month from their side?)
Cheers!
Lynlee

LMT
16-06-2005, 23:02 PM
Two months for him, one for them, but look up previous posts on the site regarding the type, wording & dating of the landlord's notice.
I support everything said by the other landlords above - experience has taught us that when the tenant doesn't feel the clock is ticking they actually stay longer. I currently have 2 tenants who have told me they are looking to (a) move out of the area or (b) buy their own place when the marital home is sold. It has been at least a year of continued rental for both parties since they told me this. If you've got a good tenant who pays on time just make it easy for them to stay....

lynlee
16-06-2005, 23:25 PM
And yet one more question (sorry! forgot) - there has also been a small rent increase negotiated... Does it make a new agreement necessary - or do comments about letting the current one just continue, stand? (And how would the latter work...?)

lynlee
16-06-2005, 23:30 PM
Two months for him, one for them, but look up previous posts on the site regarding the type, wording & dating of the landlord's notice.
I support everything said by the other landlords above - experience has taught us that when the tenant doesn't feel the clock is ticking they actually stay longer. I currently have 2 tenants who have told me they are looking to (a) move out of the area or (b) buy their own place when the marital home is sold. It has been at least a year of continued rental for both parties since they told me this. If you've got a good tenant who pays on time just make it easy for them to stay....

That's interesting too - and taken on board! In fact, it is the tenants who have been pushing for an agreement at this stage (hence the rush for me to try to figure out the best course of action for my friend). Guess they are 'security' types as well! But v.useful to hear about your experience - thanks!

LMT
17-06-2005, 14:26 PM
I've always found that tenants don't tend to know about periodic tenancies, hence they ask for a new contract. In fact, I've had tenants who wanted to move into a flat of mine, I asked them how much notice they had to give to their present landlord, they replied "none - we haven't had a new contract from the landlord since the inital one expired....." ie they thought they were no longer under contract since a new document had not been presented.
For this reason when I ask a tenant if they want to move onto a periodic tenancy when their AST is due to expire I give them a one-page document which sets out clearly what a periodic tenancy is, their obligations, my obligations etc in plain English. If you send me your e-mail address I'll send you a copy.