Tenant gave intention to give notice for break period but I can't see that they have


Our tenants called and then followed up with a message that they wanted to leave at the break clause, but this notice would have been served as we went into lockdown. I can’t see that they have given notice, that would show on my dashboard wouldn’t it? I need to ask what they are now intending to do but don’t want to pressure them (not least because it would be easier for us if they want to stay longer rather than trying to market a property we can’t show at the moment! Also they have been good tenants and I don’t want them to feel under pressure to make a decision when that decision is constrained by a wider situation which is totally outside of their control). Is it normal practice to only treat notice as being given when it’s given via the portal?

Hi Katherine, happy to help with these Qs.

To activate the break clause, tenants must serve notice as described in the tenancy agreement. They don’t need to do this via the OpenRent site. Legally, I’m not sure that we (or anyone) could demand that notice has to be given via our site for it to be valid. In that case, it’s sensible to allow tenants to serve notice in the usual ways: email, letter, text (if specified in the tenancy agreement).

You are being very understanding and considerate of your tenants, which is fantastic. If you do need to contact them, then I wouldn’t consider this to be pressuring them. It’s not fair for you to be unsure about what they plan to do. (However, from what you’ve said, it does sound like they may have given you notice to activate the break clause and therefore intend to end the teancy.)

I would suggest getting in touch as soon as possible and finding out their plans.

There are still tenants looking for properties, and although it will be tougher than usual, properties are still being let during lockdown.

We have guidance on how to perform online viewings here.


Thanks Sam, that’s really helpful.