Why tenants need a break clause
Abreak clause is a term which can be inserted into a tenancy agreement to allow either the tenant or the landlord to get out of the lease before the end of the term, subject to one or two months’ notice. So why do tenants need a break clause?
I’d advise all tenants and landlords to insist on a 6 month break clause, even if both would ideally like a long let. This ensures that if things don’t work out the way you hope, neither party is locked into the agreement for too long.
Landlords need to be sure that their tenant is going to pay their rent on time and look after the property before committing to a long let, tenants need a few months to make sure the place they’ve rented really does live up to their expectations.
As a tenant, you must be offered a contract for a minimum of 6 months, so your landlord can’t ask you to leave any earlier than this unless you’ve broken the terms of your lease, such as not paying the rent or damaging the property.
You can, however, agree a shorter lease with the landlord if you’d both prefer a short let.
If there’s no break clause in the tenancy agreement, you’ll be locked into the contract for the full term. You might be able to leave early with the landlord’s consent, but they could force you to continue paying rent and all other costs such as council tax and water rates until the end of the term if you leave early without their agreement.
The downside of a break clause is that the landlord could end the lease any time after the first 6 months, or whenever the break occurs. However, this is unlikely if you’re a good tenant.