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high Court hands tenants a welcome break

5 August 2013

In Siemens Hearing Instruments Ltd v Friends Life Ltd (2013) the High Court considered whether a break notice, which did not comply with the provisions set out in the lease, was effective to trigger a break clause.

The tenant served notice on the landlord to initiate a break clause in the lease. The lease provided such notice must state it was given under section 24(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The notice failed to do so and was considered by the landlord as invalid.

The court acknowledged the clause in the lease was clear and therefore the notice did not comply. However the clause did not provide that non-compliance would automatically render the notice invalid or ineffective; accordingly the court held the particular non-compliance was not fatal and the notice deemed valid.

This decision is useful when considering if a notice which does not comply with the terms of a lease or a statutory provision can still be considered to be valid and effective.

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