Break Clause - leaving between 6 - 12 months

Could someone please clarify. I understand the six month break clause and notice being given at four months. If this passes are tenants obliged to stay (or landlords obliged to keep them) for the full year giving notice at ten months or can the break clause be activated at any point in the second six-month period?

Hi. The break clause can be used after the first four months of the tenancy agreement. This can be done by either party. However, you could take legal action to evict legally before the four months if there are substantial rent arrears. Hopefully that won’t be the case.

Depends how it is written as either could be the case. The norm is for it to be notice at any point after 4 months.

A landlord I know has an issue. He has a HMO, of sorts and a tenant in there has not paid rent in 3 months and says to other house mates that they are not paying. The landlord has no idea what to do…

Hi Lesley, just to add to these responses, the tenant need not give any notice if they plan to leave on the final day of the fixed term.

Re the break clause activation, it depends on the terms that describe the break clause in the tenancy agreement. Most often, however, a window is described and if it is not activated within that window, then the break clause cannot be activated.


I will be using the standard OpenRent contract including the break clause.

OK, thanks Lesley. For those watching at home, this clause says:

12.5. Any time after 4 months from the start of the Tenancy Agreement either party can exercise the break clause by giving two months notice in writing to the other party. This means that the earliest time that the tenancy can be ended by this clause is after the expiry of 6 months from the commencement of the Term.

So the terms here describe a multilateral ability for either party to end the tenancy at any time after four months into the tenancy, providing they give at least two months’ notice.

Crystal clear. Thanks very much for the clarification Sam.