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Sep, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default 6 month break clause, 12 month contract

    I am renting (for the first time) I have been in my tenancy agreement for 7 months. The tenancy agreement states that it is for a fixed term of 12 months (so 5 months to go).
    However I would like to get out of the place as soon as possible and thought that I could exercise my 6 month break clause, and therefore give one months notice.

    From further inspection of the tenancy agreement - I am not sure if it is as simple as the above - there are two parts that seem to kind of contradict each other:

    There is a 6 month break clause in the agreement - worded as follows:
    The tenant may terminate this tenancy after a period of six months by giving not less than one calendar months prior notice in writing to the landlord

    But there is also the following:
    Early termination - in the event of this agreement being terminated before the end of the stated period by the tenant in any way, the tenant agrees to pay the full cost of re-letting the property and any loss of rent incurred by the landlord as a result of the tenants actions

    Please could someone enlighten me on where they think I stand - i.e. can I simply give a months notice or is it more a question of giving a months notice and then hoping they find someone quick - otherwise face paying the rent myself !!

    Any thoughts/help appreciated

    Kind regards
    ob

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    It's quite normal, the LL is allowing you to leave after the notice period but he did expect you to stay there the full 12 months, that's why he gave you a 12 month AST. Why should the LL bear the costs because you want to leave early? If you get a new tenant lined up, that the LL approves of, it need not cost you much at all, however, if you just leave you could be liable for all the rent up to the end of the fixed term.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

  3. #3

    Default OK so

    Ok so I take it then it means that I need to start lining up another tenant on his behalf ! I will see what the landlords agents say

  4. #4
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    That's right. You can help by being available for viewings and having the place spic and span so it's attractive to new tenants.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default

    I think I might play Devils Advocate here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jta View Post
    It's quite normal, the LL is allowing you to leave after the notice period but he did expect you to stay there the full 12 months, that's why he gave you a 12 month AST.


    Why should the LL bear the costs because you want to leave early? If you get a new tenant lined up, that the LL approves of, it need not cost you much at all, however, if you just leave you could be liable for all the rent up to the end of the fixed term.
    In that case why is there a break clause at all. If the LL wanted/expected the tenant to stay then he just has a 12 month fixed term with no break clause?

    Also, whats the point of a break clause that allows the landlord to charge the tenant rent for the rest of the term after the tenant has lawfully termoinated and moved out?

    Can the OP confirm that there is a similar clause allowing the landlord to break the tenancy after six months with the landlord being responsible for the costs incurred by the tenant of finding new accommodation and the LL paying the extra £25 per month in rent over and above what the tenant currently pays because thats what it will now cost for similar accommodation.

    There has to be balance and good faith in the contract and in my experience I think the second clause the OP has referred to is subject to serious challenge under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations.
    The comments given here are provided free of charge and inevitably without sight or knowledge of the full facts and are thus given in good faith but without liability and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice.

  6. #6

    Default I can Confirm

    I can confirm that the contract does not mention anything about the landlord paying out any costs to the tenant if they terminate the contract after 6 months.

    The wording is:
    The landlord may bring the tenancy to an end after a period of 6 months by giving to the tenant not less than 2 months written notice stating that the landlord requires possession of the property as prescribed by the housing act 1988 (1996).

    Your post is certainly food for thought, I will call the agents in the morning and see what they know/reckon.

  7. #7
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    I think it is contradictory, assuming that 'before the end of the stated period' means 'before the end of the fixed term' (ie 12 months). If it means 'before the earliest point when the tenant can terminate the tenancy' (ie 6 months), then it would be different.

    I suspect it is a 'ringer' - a tenancy agreement cobbled together from two different ones - one which had a 6 month break clause and one which did not.

    Either way, I would be pretty confident that if you served notice now and moved out in 2 months' time, he would struggle to claim in court (if it came to that, which I don't think it will) that you owed him three months rent.

  8. #8
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    PRS. My answer took into account that the OP says he had a 6 month break clause, but he was already into the 7th month, so he's missed the window. He's stuck for the remainder of the term.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jta View Post
    PRS. My answer took into account that the OP says he had a 6 month break clause, but he was already into the 7th month, so he's missed the window. He's stuck for the remainder of the term.
    OP There is a 6 month break clause in the agreement - worded as follows:
    The tenant may terminate this tenancy after a period of six months by giving not less than one calendar months prior notice in writing to the landlord


    I dont see anything in the wording of the clause that says he has to exercise his break only and exclusively at six months - it says may terminate this tenancy after a period of.. whilst there is a hint of ambiguity I would be very confident in front of a judge arguing that the tenant can give his 1 months notice at any stage after six months has passed.
    The comments given here are provided free of charge and inevitably without sight or knowledge of the full facts and are thus given in good faith but without liability and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRS View Post
    OP There is a 6 month break clause in the agreement - worded as follows:
    The tenant may terminate this tenancy after a period of six months by giving not less than one calendar months prior notice in writing to the landlord

    I dont see anything in the wording of the clause that says he has to exercise his break only and exclusively at six months - it says may terminate this tenancy after a period of.. whilst there is a hint of ambiguity I would be very confident in front of a judge arguing that the tenant can give his 1 months notice at any stage after six months.
    I agree. It does not say:
    a. "at the end of" [= a once-only point at which termination is possible]; but
    b. "after a period of" [= at any time after...].
    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.
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