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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hello, I am a landlord and I wish to sell my property. My 24

Customer Question

Hello, I am a landlord and I wish to sell my property. My 24 month AST agreement with my tenant has a break clause which states;

"Notwithstanding the fixed term stated in clause 1 of the main terms of the Tenancy, the parties hereby agree that this agreement may be terminated by either party giving to the other at least two months notice in writing, such notice not to expire until after twenty months of the start date of the term. At the end of such notice the Tenancy shall end and all obligations and responsibilities shall cease; subject nevertheless to any claim by either party against the other in respect of any breach of any of the terms and conditions of the Agreement.

Am I interpreting this correctly by assuming that I am locked into this agreement for a minimum of twenty months? Thank you. M. Haigh
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 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 :

May I ask when the tenancy started roughly please?

Customer:

19th August 2013

Joshua :

Thanks. Did you prepare the tenancy agreement or an agent? If the latter did they seek instructions from you or ask you to approve the agreement before it was signed?

Customer:

It was prepared by an agent and sent to me for signing.

Joshua :

Thanks. And you signed it before the tenant? Did they explain any of the terms or suggest you read it before you signed it?

Customer:

I signed a copy was given to my tenant and I received a copy signed by the tenant. I am remote from the property and everything was done by post.

Joshua :

Thank you. Unfortunately the break clause you refer to is not much of a break clause as it cannot be exercised before 20 months of the tenancy have expired. It can be served ahead of that time but the eviction date cannot be before the twentieth month which from what you say may cause you difficulty.

Joshua :

The agent has a duty not to commit you to a tenancy without your agreement as to its terms but their sending you a copy to sign largely discharges their obligations in this respect.

Joshua :

You can of course still sell the property but it would be subject to the existing tenancy. This may be fine if the buyer is a buy to let investor but not so if they wish to live there obviously.

Customer:

So I have interpreted it correctly. Thank you for your advice I'll go to plan "B" and try to persuade them to terminate the tenancy with the offer of a rent free period if they agree.

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