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  • Property-a-holics

    AST break clause or no break clause?

    HI everyone, I have put together two versions of my AST.

    The first one is without a BC for 12 months and the second one with a BC after six months giving a minimum notice period at 4 ,once to leave on the sixth.

    My question is , can I put this clause in the 6 months BC AST I know I can in the no BC version ???

    If the tenant vacates prior to the full 12 months AST agreed or wishes to make any changes

    then there will be a fee charged for any changes of £50.00, another fee will be charged

    equivalent to one weeks rent for early termination, furthermore if the tenancy is ended early

    by the tenant a further charge equivalent to the rent lost will be made for unforseen void

    periods until the property is relet to a new tenant.

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    Hi,

    Are you planning a mutual break clause?   With so many changes to the legislation especially around fees this may be a situation where it's better not being added.   At the moment s21 is still available which could be used as the equivalent to a break clause.

    If the tenant leaves and hands back the keys you won't get anything for the remaining period of the tenancy.

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    You probably need to make any break clause mutual otherwise it risks being void as an unfair term.

    You cannot have a break clause that ends earlier than 6 months so you can have a break at 6 months in a 12 month AST but not a break in a 6 month AST.

    Once the Tenant Fees Act comes into force in June you cannot charge a fee for a break so you will need to sign the tenancy before 1 June if you want to charge this.

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    Hi David, thanks for the response, I do have a mutual break clause either party can BC after six months giving notice on month four so in effect either of us can finish the AST on month six to twelve.

    I keep asking the RLA but they never want to give advice on BC up to 12 months, the new tenants fees legislation coming in on the 01/06/19 states that a tenant can be asked to continue paying weekly rent until the property is relet to a new tenant, would this be in reference to an AST with no BC ?

    and if we do issue an AST with no BC if they leave before 12 months is there a statutory emphasis on the tenant giving any kind of notice or can they just leave with no notice ?

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    If they leave before the end of the tenancy then they will be liable for the rent to the end of the contract. You can agree with them (make sure this is done in writing, with their signature) to end the tenancy early but it needs both of you to agree.

    If there is no clause in the contract requiring the tenant to give notice that they are leaving at the end of the fixed term then they don't have to give you any notice. You can have a clause in the contract requiring a reasonable period of notice. e.g. one month.

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_ad...rm_tenancy

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    Best of standard AST (ie from a suitable supplier..) and no break clause. 

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