To Break clause or Not to Break clause

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to say this forum is really great and appreciate all those who contribute and the help that each provides.

Hopefully looking to set up a new 12mth fixed contract with a new tenant and wanted to get the thought and advice of the group on three items:

  1. The Open rent contract template has a default 6mth break clause. I know that clause applies to both parties - likewise taking it out applies to both parties.
    Do people recommend to keep it in or take it out - just worried in case end up in the situation where the tenant can’t pay and then have difficulty in getting them out

  2. Have reduced the rent significantly to get a tenant in - I did mention that is to the new tenants that this is the case and may review it after 12months to potentially increase. Do you guys suggest putting a clause in and an amount or just leaving it for now

  3. The New tenants have a dog! … Welcome any suggested clauses in to best manage this!

Thank you all again for all your help have found this forum and everyone so helput so rally thanks you for each of your contribution!

Thank you!

Q1 I don’t have a break clause as a choice. Others may have a varying opinion, but I would not sign an AST for more than 12 months anyway. Most of my ASTs are for 6 months. If you do activate the break clause and they don’t leave it is still a six month notice period for eviction at the moment.
I may be wrong but the break clause seems to benefit the tenant and not the landlord
Q2 Yes if it has reduced significantly then that clause will protect you as it was signed in advance and is the ‘machinery’ that is in place. I would advise the contract is a contractual periodic if it continues not a statutory periodic thus any further rent increase has to be honoured. The word statutory should be removed where it precedes periodic or replaced with contractual ( the type of tenancy at the end of the fixed term).There is a very long question on this forum regarding rent increases.

Landlord Law also go into detail, it’s well worth the investment.
Q3 Landlord Law has a lot of advice and clauses to manage this. I would advise you read the section on dogs very carefully.

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I agree with A_A. Break clauses are often badly drafted and can have adverse consequences. They’re also unnecessary when they just achieve the same thing as giving the tenant a 6 month fixed term and periodic thereafter.

If you are comfortable with having the dog in the premises, then you might want to think about increasing the rent slightly to cover any damage at the end of the tenancy.

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Hi AA and Everyone,

Thank you for your advise on all of the above, is any wording which you can kindly share that I can use in the contract to ensure I word it correctly.

Thank you so much for all you help!

I would advise you to purchase the contract through the Landlord Law website or another site where the contract is drafted by a solicitor.
If you have any questions you can get free legal advice as a member
Do not write it yourself unless you are versed in the Law as you will not know the nuances of law.

This is a worthwhile investment. Do not skimp on your contract. It is your only fall back.

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Join NRLA. They support all the key documents


Hi All,

Thank you I now have a draft clause thank you for your pointers :slight_smile:

Ps just thought I would also ask your experience as landlords if you think its a good idea to predetermine the amount of increase - or best to leave it open.

Just worried about having those discussions in 12mth rather than having it now which they are more open to having - again its simply that I have dropped rent by a few hundred to get a tenant which I understand is just normal given the circumstances of Covid.

Well come your experience and all your thoughts for what you guys found best as landlords.

Thank you again!

My own view is that in principle its better not to have a rent review clause in your contract because it binds you to a maximum increase. However, I note that the NRLA introduced a rent review clause into their model agreement shortly after the Tenant Fees Act came in. I haven’t been able to get an answer from them about why they did this, but its possible that it was in some way a response to this legislation. If you have a clause then I think you have to state the maximum percentage by which the rent may be increased.

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Thank you David, I appreciate your input!!

I have also been provided a clause that generic that just more or less says that the landlord will review XX month and advise the tenant of the change by giving them XX notice. So could leave it open to see when it comes up to the time

At the end of the day I just wanted to have it in line with the market which is hopefully fair on everyone.

Thank you for your help!

possibly could word it:

To be inline with the other similar flats in the building complex.

Which I think keeps it fair.

All thoughts welcome!

I am new-ish to landlording so not speaking from much experience at all, but my current tenant wants to leave (he only moved in Jan) and it is really stressful for me. I feel that a fair compromise is to hold him liable until the 6 month break clause and I feel quite protected that I can offer something that is in the contract so there is clarity and it’s official. If I had to try hold him to the full year I think it would turn very unpleasant. Regardless of the contract terms, to be honest the reality of trying to hold someone to any agreement they no longer want is hardwork even when you are legally in the right!

I agree that its difficult to hold someone to the contract against their will. It can also be counter-productive if their job has moved to another location and you are effectively cutting them off from the source of their income. Likewise, a tenant who suddenly has to move-in with an aging parent as a carer, is unlikely to have the means to continue paying the rent. I think you always have to take account of the circumstances and sadly, the character of the tenant. I wouldn’t risk leaving an unwilling and belligerent tenant in my property.


This will happen a few times . Welcome to being a landlord