Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Novalp
    • By Novalp 15th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Novalp
    Mutual Break Clause
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
    Mutual Break Clause 15th Sep 17 at 8:29 PM
    My wife and I want to cease our tenancy, which began on and includes 15 May.

    We've been scrutinizing the AST clauses on interrupting or ending the agreement. There is a Mutual Break Clause that reads:

    "Any time after four months of the initial fixed term of this tenancy (or after a similar period following a fixed term extension to the original tenancy) either party may invoke this break clause by providing a minimum of two months written notice to the other (such notice to expire on the last day of a rental period of the tenancy). At the end of such notice the tenancy shall end and all obligations and responsibilities shall cease; subject nevertheless to any claim by either party against the other in respect of any breach of any of the terms and conditions of the agreement."

    We'd appreciate advice. Have we got this correct: since our tenancy commenced on 15 May, four months would mean 15 May through 14 September. Today being 15 September is the first day of the fifth month of the tenancy (now having completed the required four months minimum).

    Can we today write to our landlord to advise that we are invoking the mutual break clause? Is it as simple as that? Can the landlord refuse to honour this clause (perhaps claiming a breach of Ts&Cs of the agreement)?

    This should allow us to end the tenancy on 14 November, before the 15 November, right?

    And if the landlord does accept, can our last rent payment be made in October (we pay before the fifteenth day of each month), to cover the period until 14 November (hopefully the last day of our tenancy)?

    Your advice greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Novalp; 15-09-2017 at 8:31 PM.
Page 1
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 15th Sep 17, 8:57 PM
    • 8,890 Posts
    • 11,743 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:57 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:57 PM
    (Assuming tenancy is at least 6 months...) then current "last day of a rental period" would be end of initial fixed term. When is end date of initial fixed term, please? (eg if it was a 2-year deal that would be 14/05/2019...).

    Like so many break clauses, this one could be improved upon.. (apologies for my arrogance...).
    Last edited by theartfullodger; 15-09-2017 at 9:00 PM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Sep 17, 9:53 PM
    • 41,081 Posts
    • 47,195 Thanks
    G_M
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 9:53 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 9:53 PM
    Unlike artful, I'm going to assume you have a 12 month fixed term (or longer). The break Clause as written would be pointless in a 6 month fixed term.
    "Any time after four months of the initial fixed term of this tenancy (or after a similar period following a fixed term extension to the original tenancy) either party may invoke this break clause by providing a minimum of two months written notice to the other (such notice to expire on the last day of a rental period of the tenancy). At the end of such notice the tenancy shall end and all obligations and responsibilities shall cease; subject nevertheless to any claim by either party against the other in respect of any breach of any of the terms and conditions of the agreement."

    ...: since our tenancy commenced on 15 May, four months would mean 15 May through 14 September.
    Correct
    Today being 15 September is the first day of the fifth month of the tenancy (now having completed the required four months minimum). Correct

    Can we today write to our landlord to advise that we are invoking the mutual break clause? Yes
    Is it as simple as that?
    Yes (but clearly state the date you intend the tenancy to end)
    Can the landlord refuse to honour this clause (perhaps claiming a breach of Ts&Cs of the agreement)? No.

    This should allow us to end the tenancy on 14 November, before the 15 November, right?
    Hmm.. If you write today (15th Sept) how/when will you serve?
    If you post, service will be 2 working days ie 19th Sept.
    Or you could hand deliver tomorrow (16th sept)
    16th Sept to 14th Nov is less than the required 2 months notice.....
    19th Sept to 14th Nov is even less.

    And if the landlord does accept, can our last rent payment be made in October (we pay before the fifteenth day of each month), to cover the period until 14 November (hopefully the last day of our tenancy)?
    Yes. If the LL accepts....
    Originally posted by Novalp
    As artful says, poorly drafted. I suspect the intention was for a requirement for 2 months notice, and an earliest termination date of after 6 months. But since notice cannot be served until the 4 month point, timing is extremely tight to achieve termination at 6 months.

    If it had been drafted simply to require 2 months notice not to expire earlier than 6 months, then notice could be served at any time during the 1st 4 months to end the tenancy after 6 months.
    • Novalp
    • By Novalp 15th Sep 17, 10:31 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Novalp
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 10:31 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 10:31 PM
    I should mention that we actually discussed with our landlord, when we moved in, how to terminate the tenancy early, in case our jobs took us elsewhere, and would we be bound to paying for a whole twelve months (fixed term). Landlord explained that after four month, we could give a two month notice, so the minimum would be six months, but now that we're doing it, it feels a little too simple.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Sep 17, 12:06 AM
    • 41,081 Posts
    • 47,195 Thanks
    G_M
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 17, 12:06 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 17, 12:06 AM
    It depends how legalistically the LL decides to interpret his Break Clause.

    He may, as I demonstrated above, reject your termination date on the grounds that it is less than 2 months notice. You could then counter-argue and ultimately only a court could decide how to interpret the Break Clause.

    But it sounds like your LL is reasonable, and you had a friendly understanding which he simply drew up poorly in writing. In which case he is likely to accept your notice without question.

    Let us know!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

117Posts Today

1,173Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Luciana is on the advisory board of @mmhpi (we have MPs from most parties) https://t.co/n99NAxGAAQ

  • Follow Martin