Unfair Break Clause in Tenancy Agreement

When renting a property, it’s important to read and understand the terms of the tenancy agreement before signing. While many clauses may seem straightforward and reasonable, there are some that can have serious implications if not carefully considered. One such clause that tenants should be wary of is the unfair break clause.

What is a break clause?

A break clause is a term in a tenancy agreement that allows either the landlord or the tenant to end the tenancy early, before the fixed term has expired. These clauses can be beneficial for both parties as they offer flexibility and allow for changes in circumstances. For example, a tenant may need to relocate for work or a landlord may need to sell the property.

However, break clauses can also be used unfairly to the detriment of the tenant.

What is an unfair break clause?

An unfair break clause is a clause that gives the landlord the right to terminate the tenancy at any point during the fixed term, without giving the tenant the same right. This means that the tenant may be forced to move out with little notice and without any valid reason.

Unfair break clauses are often included in tenancy agreements to give the landlord more control over the property and to make it easier for them to sell or redevelop it. However, they can leave tenants feeling insecure and uncertain about their housing situation.

What can tenants do about unfair break clauses?

If you are a tenant and have signed a tenancy agreement with an unfair break clause, there are a few options available to you.

Firstly, you can try to negotiate with the landlord or letting agent to remove the clause from the agreement. If they refuse, you may want to consider seeking legal advice to determine whether the clause is enforceable.

It’s also worth noting that unfair terms in tenancy agreements are unenforceable under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This means that tenants can challenge the validity of the clause in court if they feel it is unfair.

Overall, it’s essential for tenants to read their tenancy agreement carefully and seek advice if they are unsure about any clauses. Unfair break clauses can leave tenants feeling vulnerable and uncertain, but there are options available to challenge them and protect your rights as a tenant.