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Break Notices

In the current challenging economic climate, many commercial tenants are attempting to re-negotiate more favourable lease terms or are considering whether they want to terminate their lease early and exercise a break option. The result of this is that commercial landlords may find themselves with empty properties and need advice as to whether their tenant has validly exercised the break option.

Meet Our Specialists

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Seán Hackett

Seán Hackett

Seán is a Partner and Head of our Real Estate Litigation department

Laura Pile

Laura Pile

Laura is a Senior Solicitor in the Real Estate Litigation Team

Jennifer Hartley

Jennifer Hartley

Jennifer is a Solicitor in our Real Estate Litigation department.

Our Approach

At Myerson, we have a wealth of experience in this area and we act for both commercial landlords and commercial tenants. The benefit of this is that we are able to pre-empt any arguments that are likely to be raised by the other side and are able to effectively advise you on your options.

Our team of experts are happy to discuss your situation in a no-obligation and free consultation by telephone. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Real Estate Litigation team on 0161 941 4000 or by emailing.

How We Can Help

Break clauses are contractual provisions within commercial leases that allow a party to terminate the lease early.

Break clauses are common but are often complex and require the party serving the notice to do so within a specific time period.  Sometimes there are conditions that must be met either prior to the notice being served or before the lease terminates.

The terms of the break clause must be strictly complied with and the effect of the break notice being incorrectly served, or the conditions not complied with, will mean that the lease will not terminate early and will continue for the remainder of the term.

The effect of the break notice being incorrectly served, or the conditions not complied with, will mean that the tenant’s obligations under the lease will continue.

We can assist you with the following:

  • Advising commercial landlords on the validity of a break notice;
  • Preparing and serving a break notice on behalf of commercial landlords or commercial tenants;
  • Advising on any conditions attached to a break clause and how to comply with them; and
  • Issuing proceedings should there be a dispute regarding the validity of a break notice or compliance with the break conditions.

Why Myerson?

Myerson’s Real Estate Litigation have a wide range of experience and are able to guide you through the process.

Myerson offers a range of funding options for claims of this nature. Our fees are fair, transparent and we are happy to discuss funding arrangements with you without obligation.

If you would like to discuss exercising a break option or any other matters relating to you serving a break notice, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Real Estate Litigation team on 0161 941 4000 or via email.

Contact Us

Take your first step towards settling your residential property matter. Complete the form below or call us on

0161-941-4000

FAQ - Tenants

How do I serve a break notice?

The requirements for the service of the break notice will be contained within the lease. The obligations must be carefully checked to ensure compliance. The lease will provide details of how the break notice must be sent to ensure effective service i.e. there may be a requirement to send the notice by registered post or by personal service.

What happens if I do not serve the break notice by the date given in the lease?

The break clause will often set out a “break date”. This is the date on which the lease will terminate if the notice is properly served. Often, the break clause will stipulate that the notice must be served in writing within a certain period before the break date (i.e. not less than six months before the break date). 

If the notice is not deemed to be served by this date, the effect is that you will have missed your opportunity to terminate the lease early. The lease will, therefore, continue either until the next break date (if there is one and you comply the conditions of the break notice and serve the relevant notice) or until the expiry of the term. 

What happens if the break notice is not correctly served or I do not comply with the conditions?

The effect if the break notice is incorrectly served (this includes serving it at the wrong address or on the wrong entity) or you fail to comply with any conditions is that the lease will continue. You would, therefore, remain liable to observe and perform the obligations and covenants contained within the lease.

What if I fail to give vacant possession of the property by the break date?

One of the most common conditions of the break clause is to provide vacant possession. 

Vacant possession generally refers to an obligation to ensure that the property is in a state fit to be occupied at a given time. Therefore, if there are a significant number of possessions in the property, this could prevent vacant possession being given. This may mean that the conditions have not been complied with and the break being ineffective. If you have any concerns about how to provide vacant possession then we can provide you with further information.

FAQs - Landlords

Has the Tenant correctly served the break notice?

The requirements for service of the break notice will be contained within the lease. The obligations must be carefully checked to ensure compliance.  The lease will provide details of how the break notice must be sent to ensure effective service i.e. there may be a requirement to send the notice by registered post or by personal service.

What happens if the tenant does not served the break notice by the date given in the lease?

The break clause will often set out a “break date”.  This is the date on which the lease will terminate if the notice is properly served.  Often, the break clause will stipulate that the notice must be served by a certain period before the break date (i.e. not less than six months before the break date). 

If the notice is not deemed to be served by this date, the effect will be that the tenant will have missed their opportunity to terminate the lease early.  The lease will, therefore, continue either until the next break date, if the tenant serves a new break notice and complies with the conditions or until the expiry of the term.

What happens if the break notice is not correctly served or the tenant fails to comply with the conditions?

The effect if the break notice is incorrectly served, which includes serving it at the wrong address or wrong entity, or the tenant failing to comply with any pre or post-termination conditions, is that the lease will continue.  The tenant would remain liable to observe and perform the obligations and covenants contained within the lease, as well as assume the associated liabilities placed upon them by virtue of the lease.

What if the tenant fails to give vacant possession of the property by the break date?

One of the most common conditions of the break clause is to provide vacant possession.  Irrespective of whether the break notice is served correctly, the tenant will need to ensure that you provide vacant possession of the property by the break date. 

Vacant possession generally refers to the tenant’s obligation to ensure that the property is in a state fit to be occupied at a given time.  If there are a significant number of possessions in the property, this could prevent vacant possession being given.  This may mean that the tenant has not complied with the conditions and the break notice would be rendered ineffective.  The lease would continue and the tenant would remain liable to observe and perform the obligations and covenants contained within the lease as well as assume the associated liabilities placed upon them by virtue of the lease.