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@.

    • TayTay123
    • By TayTay123 14th Mar 17, 7:34 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Break clause AST - help please
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:34 PM
    Break clause AST - help please 14th Mar 17 at 7:34 PM
    Hi All,

    We have a break clause within our AST. Can someone please confirm when we can serve our notice? End of month 10 or end of month 12?

    We interpreted below to be end of 10 but our LA and landord disagree.

    Clause 1.9 states:

    Initial term of tenancy will be 18 months

    With a 12 month break clause and 2 month notice period

    Commencement date; from and including: 15 April 2016

    Expiry date to; and including: 14 October 2017

Page 1
    • Miss Samantha
    • By Miss Samantha 14th Mar 17, 7:51 PM
    • 1,177 Posts
    • 1,121 Thanks
    Miss Samantha
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:51 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:51 PM
    That's not a break clause, but just a mention that there is a break clause somewhere... Is there?

    Considering the terrible drafting, I think that I'd try to have the letting agent write what they agree it means then stick to that. At least they won't then be able to back track.
    • TayTay123
    • By TayTay123 14th Mar 17, 11:16 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 11:16 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 11:16 PM
    Thanks for the response.

    That is the only mention of the break clause in our contract. We submitted our notice to leave the property after 12.5 months therefore past the 12month break and with 2months notice given (we sent the notice at 10.5 months).

    Our letting agent is adamant that the statement should be read as 2 months notice can be given after 12 months of tenancy. To quote "this is how all break clauses work". I don't trust this and would appreciate opinion especially from those with experience in this matter.

    The statement seems so vague that it could be interepted in so many different ways which I believe gives us the right to contest the letting agent.

    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Mar 17, 12:40 AM
    • 43,847 Posts
    • 51,841 Thanks
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 12:40 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 12:40 AM
    1) it's a poorly drafted, and ambiguous, break clause

    2) I would suggest that "this is how all break clauses work" is inaccurate. In fact in general, the opposite is true. eg a 6 month Break Clause generally allows the tenancy to end at 6 months, after serving notice at 4 months. However this is not always true and a well drafted clause will make it clear what is intended.

    3) Given it's an 18 month contract, it would also seem less likely that the Break Clause would intend the tenancy to be endable at 14 months ie very near the end anyway. 12 months would be more reasonable

    4) The clause is also ambiguous as to whether the tenancy can be ended at 12 months (or 14), or at or after 12 months (or 14). Whilst not explicitly stated, it suggests there is a fixed date (whether 12 or 14 months) when the tenancy can be ended, rather than a date after which it can be ended

    5) Note that in general, where something in a contract is ambiguous, the courts usually interpret it to the advantage of the party who did not draft it (in this case, in your favour). So if you stood your ground on both points ie

    a) notice can be served at 10 months to end at 12, and
    b) notice can be served at or after 10 months to end at or after 12
    and a dispute took this all the way to court, it is likely the court would support you.

    But courts can be unpredictable and might interpret the clause differently by trying to read 'the intent' of the landlord.
    Last edited by G_M; 15-03-2017 at 12:47 AM.
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

4,285Posts Today

8,152Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Facebook today admitted in parliament that after it heard of my defamation lawsuit against it for 50 fake scam ads?

  • RT @jamiesusskind: After more than 10 years, and with such sadness, I am leaving Labour. I'm doing it for the same reason that I joined: be?

  • RT @Deeangelique_: I suggested @MartinSLewis get 'I Don't Do Ads' tattooed to his forehead yesterday. Today he posted this. I gave Martin L?

  • Follow Martin