Landlord’s Letter Exercising a Break Option
This Landlord’s Letter Exercising a Break Option should be used by a landlord who wishes to terminate a residential tenancy agreement by exercising an early termination right, also known as a break option.
This template is suitable for use in England only. Different rules apply for landlord break clauses in Wales under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.
Not all tenancy agreements contain a landlord’s break option. You should check the tenancy agreement carefully to verify that a break option is included. The terms of the break option must be observed, e.g. by giving the correct amount of notice.
The letter should be served on the tenant by the method (or one of the methods) specified in the tenancy agreement. There is often a “Notices” clause which will stipulate where and how notices should be served. Subject to what the tenancy agreement says, delivery by hand or by recorded delivery will probably be safest.
Remember that the notice period begins from the time the tenant receives the letter, not when the letter was posted. Do not leave it until the last minute to post the letter. For example, if the tenancy can be terminated on 28 January by giving 2 months’ notice, the letter must reach the tenant by 28 November. It should therefore be posted well in advance of this date, e.g. on 25 November.
The landlord should enclose with this letter the Letter regarding Termination Arrangements. That letter reminds the tenant of the steps they must take before vacating the property.
The letter requests the tenant to sign a copy and return it to the landlord to confirm receipt. The landlord must remember to send the tenant two copies of the letter and a stamped addressed envelope.
If the tenant is an assured shorthold tenant, the landlord will not be able to terminate the tenancy simply by serving a break notice such as the one contained in this letter. The break notice only brings the contractual term of the tenancy to an end. The tenant will be entitled to remain in the property as a periodic assured shorthold tenant. The landlord therefore needs to serve a Section 21 Notice in addition to the break notice to ensure that a periodic tenancy does not arise.
Note also that a break option cannot be effectively exercised in the first six months of the term of the tenancy. This is because a court has no power to order possession during the first six months. Even if the tenancy agreement purports to allow the landlord to terminate the lease after, say, four months, this will not be enforceable in court.
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