Break-clause removal

Hello there! We agreed a 12 month AST with a landlord (paying above market value) and received the contract which we assumed (from prior research) would include a break-clause as is standard for openrent ASTs. However, the landlord removed the clause without bipartisan agreement to do so and added several unnecessary clauses (similarly not agreed upon).
The landlord insists that there is nothing wrong with doing this and that they’ve never had an issue, but we do not feel secure signing a contract with no break-clause.

How should we proceed in this situation? If we pull out, would we receive the holding deposit back?
Any help would be appreciated!

Contracts are about negotiation, so negotiate.

Indeed, the only problem is that they have refused every single one of our attempts to negotiate anything to do with a break-clause. We have offered a longer period before it can be triggered (instead of the 4 month standard), we have offered to have solicitors draw up sub clauses specifying situations in which the break-clause (or something similar) could be used etc., but so far they have not even attempted to facilitate a debate on anything related to it (5 days into the negotiations).

It’s just frustrating as the landlord seeming believes we definitely intend to trigger said break-clause, although this is utterly irrational as we are all university students in our final year (therefore staying for a year either way). This further decreases the amount of confidence I have in the property as there seems to be no reason not to include one, other than something that could lead them to believe we would want to leave earlier than the agreed term.

Unfortunately he can have whatever he wants in the contract and if you don’t like it he will
Find someone else,
I don’t offer break clauses as they are awkward, legally and perhaps the LL needs certainty

Break clauses are notoriously difficult to get right. It would be better to ask for a 6 month tenancy which then goes periodic. If they wont do it, you have to decide whether to walk away.

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