Q&As

Can a tenant retract a notice to quit previously served to exercise a break clause in an assured shorthold tenancy before expiry of the notice?

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Produced in partnership with Alexander Campbell of Field Court Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 19/08/2019

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Alexander Campbell of Field Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a tenant retract a notice to quit previously served to exercise a break clause in an assured shorthold tenancy before expiry of the notice?
  • Whether a notice to quit can be retracted

Can a tenant retract a notice to quit previously served to exercise a break clause in an assured shorthold tenancy before expiry of the notice?

Whether a notice to quit can be retracted

There is various authority for the position that a notice to quit, once it has been served, cannot be retracted.

However, a notice can be withdrawn or the right to enforce it waived with the consent of the party to whom the notice is given.

In Clarke v Grant, the Court of Appeal held that a notice to quit cannot be waived by, for example, the landlord continuing to accept rent payments from the tenant. In this respect, the parties were held to be in a different position compared to when, for example, a landlord waives a breach of covenant. Giving judgment, Lord Goddard CJ stated:

‘It has always been held

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