The break clause in a lease sets out what rights you have to bring the lease to an early end. You can only exercise the break option at the specified date or dates.
If you do want to break the lease, it is vital to make sure that you comply with any conditions in the lease. The details will depend on the particular lease, but typically:
- You need to give written notice to the landlord by a specified date — perhaps six months prior to the break date.
- The landlord will have the right to refuse the break under certain circumstances. Commonly this will be the case if you are behind with your rental payments; in some leases, even trivial breaches of the lease can be grounds for refusal.
- You will need to provide vacant possession of the premises on the break date, making sure you have moved out and returned the keys.
If you do intend to use a break clause, you should take legal advice and plan ahead. A small error such as giving notice in the wrong form or missing a deadline could be very costly.