Here is a question to the Blog Clinic from Ashley who is a tenant (question answered by David Smith)
We have break clause in our AST contract, which states the following:
“The landlord and tenant have agreed that two months written notice can be given from month 6 onwards for the tenants to vacate the property, this notice must be given by the rent due date (17th of the month). The property will be re-marketed within this time. The tenants are aware that they will be held liable for any void period at the property after the two months has ceased, up until the last day of the tenancy.”
We have served our 2 months notice and moved out of the property on 17th July.
During the notice period our landlord put the property up for sale and there was no evidence of it being marketed for rent.
The landlord is now saying that she has found a tenant to move in we are liable for rent payment to over the void period 3 weeks) and is refusing to return a proportion of our deposit (protected by the DPS).
Could this break clause be deemed “unfair” as it could potentially be exploited by the landlord as they could continue to say that “they have not found suitable tenants” leaving the tenant liable for rent until the end of the contract.
This is not a break clause really but actually a poorly worded expression of what a lot of people think the law actually is.
That is the obligation on the landlord to mitigate the loss of the tenant wanting to leave during the fixed term.
I don’t think it would be unfair really as it does not create and unbalanced position. In fact, it gives the tenant more rights as against the usual position which is that the landlord is under no obligation whatsoever to relet the property.