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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10632
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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I have a 3 year lease on an industrial unit. I am currently

Customer Question

I have a 3 year lease on an industrial unit. I am currently in my 21st month of that agreement. I have a break clause in my terms of agreement which states.
"There is to be a break clause after 18 months in the service of no less than 3 months written notice"
I gave written notice of leaving the lease agreement 6 weeks ago but this has been refused by my landlord as they say " the break clause can only be taken ON the 18 month, meaning I needed to give written notice on the 15th month of the agreement so that I could ONLY leave on the 18th month. Because we have gone past the 18th month I cannot endorse the break clause.
It was my understanding that the break clause could be enforced anytime after 18 months.
Am I correct or do I have to stay in the agreement till the end of the 3 years?
Submitted: 22 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 22 days ago.

Hi,

Thanks for your enquiry.

A Break clause does normally only allow the Tenant to give up the Lease at some fixed point, and this is usually half way through the fixed term, as opposed to any time after a certain date. Likewise, for the break to be exercised correctly, the Tenant has to serve the Notice as dictated by the Lease.

I do need you to forward to me the full wording of the clause from your Lease, to be sure, but I fear that the Landlord is indeed correct, and it would be most strange for the Lease to allow you to break it at any time after the 18th month period.

I look forward to hearing form you if you would like to send me the wording.

Otherwise, I hope the above assists.

Kind Regards

Al

Aston Lawyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Hi
The full wording is what I sent in the original question"There is to be a break clause after 18 months in the service of no less than 3 months written notice"The above is what I asked for on the terms of agreement. There is no mention of a fixed date or when I need to give notice. It was my understanding that I could exercise this break at anytime after 18 months I.e A rolling break clause, because of the wording used I.e AFTER 18 months. If they intended the break to be at half way then surely this should have been worded to do so?
On my lease agreement there is nothing said about a break clause. The break clause was asked for by me, and agreed on by the landlord and was signed for on my head of terms agreement
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Here is a photo of the terms
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 22 days ago.

Hi, thanks for your positive feedback. Give me a few minutes and I will come back to you on the Lease wording. Al

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 22 days ago.

Hi, the extract you have sent me is only the front sheet. I do need to see the wording in the main body of the Lease. If you could email me this to me? Al

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
There is no mention of the break clause in the main lease
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Here are the files
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 22 days ago.

Oh- well, if there is nothing in the Lease itself, this leaves it as a very cloudy issue.

Normally, it would be successfully argued that as there is no break clause in the Lease, then there is no break clause full stop, as the Lease is the legally binding agreement between the parties (the heads of terms are merely an indication as to what should be in the Lease and is not legally binding between the parties).

On the flip side, it was clearly the intention of the parties that there be a break clause, and if it was an innocent mistake that it was excluded, you would have to try and argue this. However, it would still be unclear as to when the break clause comes into effect as you are quite right in that the heads of terms state "after 18 months" implying it could be any time on or after 18 months.

I'm afraid that unless the Landlord is agreeable to you breaking the lease now, your only option would be to take the matter to Court and it would involve no doubt a lengthy and expensive case to resolve and would not be financially viable form your point of view.

Sorry.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Here is the reply email I got when I handed my 3 months written notice, I have lareDy handed my notice in on one unit that was accepted .Good afternoon
Thank you for your email.
Under the terms of your lease as amended , this can only be determined 18 months after commencement by giving three months advanced notice. The lease commenced on the 21 March 2016 and therefore could have been determined on 21st September 2017 if notice had been received by 21st June. We did accept the break on Unit 7B with effect from 3rd December but were under no obligation to do so. I am therefore unable to give you a decision re breaking your lease but I will propose that we do accept this early surrender at our next management meeting in the week commencing the 4th November.
It has been brought to my attention that while you have vacated Unit 7B, you have emptied the contents into the corridor. This is unacceptable and we must ask that you remove these immediately as the corridor is a fire exit and their presence causes an obstruction and contravenes Health and Safety legislation within the building. We must also insist that the gas cylinders also need to be removed immediately and should be located off site. Please can you confirm when this has been done? If this has not been done before our meeting in the week commencing 4th November, I am sure that this may influence the decision.
I will be in touch as soon as I hear back from the monthly meeting and look forward to hearing from you without delay.
Kind regards
Helen
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
They do accept there is a break clause, they are arguing that it's gone past the effective date.