Break Clause

Every good tenancy agreement agreed over a fixed term should include a break clause. As the name suggests, it allows either the tenant or the landlord (or both, depending on the circumstances) to break the agreement before the term is complete.

This means that while a fixed term may last for 12 months, both parties reserve the right to terminate it before that time is up if they have good reason to do so. There is typically a set process that must be adhered to for the break clause to be used in a valid manner in this scenario.


Understanding the wording of a break clause in a tenancy agreement

It is worth knowing that while a break clause sounds singular, it is merely a description of a clause that can appear within a tenancy agreement. As such, there could be different versions of it according to the terms of a specific agreement.

You will usually see several sections on the agreement relating to a break clause. The best example is for one section of the clause to be described from the landlord’s point of view and for another to be described from the tenant’s point of view.

It is common for the tenant to be required to give a shorter period of notice than that of the landlord, although there may not be too much difference between the two. For example, a landlord should legally provide a minimum of two months’ notice. Conversely, the tenant is required to give a minimum of one month.

The break clause should also include any conditions that must be met in full for the clause to be used. If such conditions are not met, the clause would not be triggered and the relevant party could be deemed to have violated the tenancy agreement (whether that is the landlord or the tenant).