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Break Clauses in Leases - What do they do?

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Within lease agreements, break clauses stand as pivotal provisions offering versatility to both landlords and tenants. These clauses permit either party to prematurely terminate the lease, contingent upon specified conditions and notice prerequisites.


Break clauses are subject to precise legal regulations and carry implications that necessitate meticulous scrutiny by both parties. This article endeavours to elucidate the fundamental facets of break clauses in lease agreements, delineating their consequences, highlighting the factors that landlords and tenants should ponder, and underlining the significance of legal guidance when invoking them. While break clauses can be incorporated into both residential and commercial leases, this article will predominantly centre on their relevance in commercial lease contexts.


What is a break clause?

A break clause serves as a contractual provision bestowing the privilege upon one or both parties to conclude a lease ahead of its scheduled termination. It functions as a contingency plan, affording the parties the ability to exit the lease ahead of time, offering adaptability in a constantly evolving business landscape. Given its far-reaching consequences, it is imperative for both landlords and tenants to possess a comprehensive comprehension of break clauses. The specific considerations for each party vary in nuances and are expounded upon below.



Break clauses are typically subject to specific conditions, such as the payment of outstanding rent, compliance with repair obligations, or vacant possession.

Points for Landlords to Consider

For property owners, it is imperative to meticulously craft break clauses to guarantee the safeguarding of their interests. Vague or inadequately phrased provisions can result in conflicts and ambiguity. Engaging legal counsel during the formulation of a break clause can aid landlords in sidestepping potential complications.

Notice periods

Typically, break clauses necessitate the issuance of a notice by the party desiring to conclude the lease. The duration of this notice period may fluctuate, yet it is of paramount importance for property owners to distinctly stipulate the mandated notice period within the lease agreement.

Points for Tenants to Consider

Tenants should diligently examine the terms linked to the break clause. These terms could encompass responsibilities like restoring alterations, settling outstanding debts, or adhering to maintenance obligations. Neglecting to meet these conditions might result in the nullification of the break clause, potentially exposing the tenant to rental and additional financial liabilities.

Timing and flexibility

Break clauses furnish tenants with the chance to reevaluate their business requirements and, if required, to exit a lease. Nonetheless, tenants should exercise prudence when determining the right moment to invoke the break clause. Evaluating market conditions, logistical aspects of relocation, and the implications for their business are essential factors to consider before opting to terminate the lease.

Notice periods

Just like landlords, tenants must scrupulously follow the notice prerequisites delineated in the lease contract. Neglecting to deliver the notice within the stipulated timeframe may lead to the lease persisting, necessitating that the tenant fulfils their commitments for the remaining duration.

Seeking Legal Advice?

Invoking a break clause can carry substantial consequences for both property owners and lessees. Given the intricacies and potential liabilities associated with this action, it is highly advisable for individuals to seek competent legal counsel before proceeding. An adept solicitor well-versed in property law can examine the lease, elucidate responsibilities, and lead clients through the steps, assuring adherence to legal stipulations and the protection of their interests. Click here to see how our experts can help you.