Some assured shorthold tenancies commonly feature “break clauses” that are sometimes asymmetrically available only to the tenant to provide extra flexibility to them, while others are made symmetrically available to both parties.

In any event, if there is a break clause exercisable by the landlord, it can surely only be exercised through a section 21 possession procedure, and cannot sidestep section 5 1988, right?

1 Answer 1


Yes; you need to use the break clause and serve a section 21 notice to start eviction proceedings during a fixed term.

Quoting from Landlord Law Blog:

activating the break clause does not give you a legal right to possession of the property nor does it mean the tenant will have to leave.

A break clause 'breaks' the fixed term – but this will be followed automatically by a periodic tenancy. Which will have the same obligations and rights as the preceding fixed term. Meaning that your tenant still has a tenancy and is entitled to remain living in the property.

So, to recover possession (assuming the tenant is not going to move out voluntarily) you will need to get a court order

This applies to section 21 notices, which can't take effect until the fixed term has ended - but also applies to some section 8 notices, as certain grounds also can't be used during a fixed term.

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