Ending tenancy before 12 months fixed contract / using break clause?

Hello all, This is the first time we are using this forum… We have in place the Open rent standard contract (12 months fixed term) The tenant is asking when he can give notice before 12 months?

  1. Our understanding is that tenant can give us 2 months notice after initial 10 months. Is this correct?
  2. However, there is a Mutual Break Clause in the contract: “The Initial Term of this tenancy agreement may be terminated by either party giving the other at least two months’ notice in writing, such notice not to expire until at least 8 months after the start of the Term.” Does this mean the tenant can give two months notice after 6 months or after 8 months? When the tenatn can actually leave under this clause? What does “Mutual” in the title “Mutual Break Clause” actually mean? Does the mutual break clause counts of good will of a landlord. It is really confusing to have a fix term contract with the Break Clause which shortens the term… Please let us know so we can correctly inform the tenant. Cheers

2 months notice after 6 months. Leaving after 8 months. Mutual just means either party can initiate it.


Hi @Glenn1

This means that the tenants can give a minimum of two months notice at any point during the tenancy but that the earliest the notice can expire (i.e. end the tenancy) is at the 8 month mark. So, the tenants can serve notice during the first six months of the tenancy but the tenancy would only end at the 8 month point. After the tenancy reaches six months the tenant can simply serve two months’ notice.

As @David122 says “mutual” in this context means that it can be used by either side. A landlord looking to use the break clause would need to use a Section 21 notice which comes with particular requirements. We explain more about how landlords can serve notice here: How to Serve a Section 21 and Section 8 Notice of Eviction | OpenRent Landlord Hub