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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25441
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We have a Commercial Lease in England, on a business unit that

Resolved Question:

We have a Commercial Lease in England, on a business unit that we are renting, it started on the 8th May 2013, and ends on the 30th April 2018, it is continuous on an annual basis. We need to break the lease, there is a break clause that reads
'If the Tenant wishes to determine this lease as at 1st day of November 2014, the Tenant must give to the Landlord not less than two months prior notice and thereafter if the Tenant wishes to determine this lease, the Tenant must give to the Landlord not less than six months prior written notice on the bi-annual anniversary of 1st November.
We believe there is some ambiguity between bi-annual and biennial, we are hoping we can give 6 months notice on the 1st May which is the anniversary of the lease, but believe our landlord, thinks we are unable to break the lease until 1st November 2016, are you able to give us some clarity, is there an opportunity to break the lease sooner rather than later?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

the position in law is that if there is any ambiguity in respect of any clause in the lease document, the ambiguity will favour the individual who did not draft the document. Accordingly, if there were an ambiguity, in the assumption the lease was drafted by the landlord which would usually be the case, the benefit of the ambiguity would go to you.

Joshua :

however, having said that, if the wording of the break clauses exactly as you have posted, I cannot see that there is an ambiguity. As you will know biannual means twice a year. you may be correct that the landlord's intention was that the break clause will operate every two years (biennial) but that is not what it says.

Customer:

So we should be able to break the lease without having to wait until 2016?

Joshua :

Based on the wording of the clause, it appears a reasonable interpretation that 6 months notice can be given prior to 1st May in order to determine the lease on 1 November 2015.

Customer:

So to clarify if we wanted to break the lease as soon as possible, we should be able to do that by giving the 6 months notice on the 1st of May

Customer:

of this year

Joshua :

You need to give the landlord not less than 6 months notice so it would be sensible to consider giving notice as soon as possible rather than waiting til the last moment on 1 May. That leaves room for agument you have not given a full clear six months notice. There is nothing stopping you giving notice sooner than 1st May which would be safer.

Joshua :

Retain a copy of your notice and consider sending a copy by registered post so you can prove receipt.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Thank you, ***** ***** clear, I appreciate the advise

Joshua :

I am pleased I was able to assist.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer:

Thank you that helped, and I will rate your service now

Customer:

Have a good evening

Joshua :

Best wishes

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