EDIT 22.11.2022: as this post went to press, the Appeal Court departed from the view of both the High Court and the County Court, and proclaimed a strict orthodoxy. They held that the judge below had asked himself the wrong question; he should have asked whether the notice had been given to the tenant, not what the notice had meant. The appeal shows that the utmost care must be taken when serving break notices, as the court will show no leniency if the notice is incorrect.
Ensuring a break notice is validly served can be critical, especially for fixed break dates as without a rolling break option there is only one ‘bite of the cherry’ to break the lease. The consequences of serving an invalid break notice may be drastic, for example, it may fetter a landlord in obtaining vacant possession in order to carry out a development scheme or a tenant may remain liable for a lease that it no longer wants and cannot get rid of in any other way.