Broken, or Not?

So, you’ve served your break notice to leave because you want to relocate your business. Or have you?

With the desire for flexibility, many tenants, when leasing new space, negotiate for inclusion of a break clause. This is to enable them to terminate the lease earlier than the formal end date. Commonly (but not always) these breaks are a one-off moment in time. The tenant usually has to follow a clear regime – for example, notice has to be served in writing, on the Landlord, and at least six months before the break clause date.

Sadly, we see a lot of break notices served incorrectly thereby enabling Landlords to reject them. As the break is usually a once-only event, the tenant has another long period of being responsible for the lease – a very expensive error.

Common reasons why break clauses are incorrectly operated are:

– notice served too late;
– notice not served on the current landlord;
– at the break point, the premises are not vacated – just leaving a few unused desks behind can invalidate the break; and
– at the break point, rent is outstanding.

Of course, every lease is different and the conditions surrounding the operation of the break will differ from lease to lease. However the advice is clear – get advice! Ideally make diary notes well ahead of the process and speak to a good professional (such as us) for help.

Tim Richards FRICS – Director