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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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My husband and I started running a pub in 31st March this

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My husband and I started running a pub in 31st March this year. We signed a tenancy agreement. It has become apparent that the bills are not being paid from the beer sales, and we are now in a position where we are unable to cover any bills other than the brewery's rent and extortionate cost of stock purchases. We have therefore told them of our intent to leave, in writing. They are saying we have to give them six months' notice. In the tenancy agreement, it says "after a period of twelve months, you have to give a notice period of no less than six months and no more than twelve". There is no stipulation for what happens if you've been a tenant less than six months. The brewery representative said "technically speaking they don't have to accept notice at all when you've been there less than a year". I told him that their tenancy agreement makes no statement regarding this, and they cannot hold us to a six month notice period. Their agreement does not state what the position is if you've been a tenant less than 12 months. Many other pubs allow a six month initial period where you can leave without a lengthy notice period (this is a widespread industry standard) Besides, within a month or so the utilities will be cut off and the subject will be moot. Perhaps you could advise me accordingly? Many thanks
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Does he have a break clause in there at all?

Does it have a minimum period of tenancy?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi. It doesn't state anything about a break clause, but it doesn't state anything about what happens if you've been here for less than a year. I can send you a copy of the page which specifically mentions what happens if you want to leave, if that helps?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Does it say there is a minimum period, or initial fixed period?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No, it doesn't. The only wording that relates to us leaving, is as I sent through. It says after a year. No reference at all to the being a minimum term.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Thanks. In that case it is not clear, but from the wording what is clear is that you have to give 6 months notice.

Sadly I do not think you can get away from that as painful as it is for me to tell you that.

I agree it does not say you have to be there 12 months, but it does say about the six month notice. Therefore a Court could either say that you need to be there for the initial 12 months before you give notice, or the 6 month can be activated at any time.

Either way, sadly I think you need to give 6 months notice.

I realise this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi. I was hoping that, as they make no specific reference to a tenancy which has been in force less than six months, that this would be a grey area which a court could find in our favour. It does say that AFTER a period of 12 months you have to give a minimum of six months. Nothing whatsoever about what happens in less than this period of time.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Well I agree, its poorly worded. But unless it has a break clause in for earlier, I dont think you would be able to argue that.

Its going to be really hard, its very poorly drafted.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
thank you. I guess we have our answer. Many thanks for your help.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site doesn’t pay me for the time spent with you. Thanks in advance and good luck.

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