Now you know why landlords avoid 2 year leases. You can take the tenants to court and see what happens. But your added clause is poorly written and even after many readings still contains some ambiguity.
Obviously he "could" take them to court. I don't see him having a chance to win, however. He drafted the language of this term, any ambiguity in it is 99 times out of 100 going to be ruled in favor of the other person as the drafter could've written it in much plainer language. This could be overruled if the tenants were reading it in a way that was unreasonable to think that's what the landlord meant. I don't see anything unreasonable about thinking 2 months notice is fair, especially if they didn't know he couldn't rent it out again. What kind of HOA law is that anyways? I've heard of 6 months, but 12?
My two sense if you take the tenants to court? The judge will take one look at your lease and rule in favor of the tenants. Now you're out more money. It's incredibly risky to take them to small claims court in my opinion. Your thoughts?
I agree that a court date is a dice roll. The landlord made two mistakes. One is to issue a two year lease. Today, people's lives are not stable enough to make a lease like that. Additionally, most judges will not deal with anything beyond 12 months. The second thing is the landlord is using a homemade lease that does not address breaking the lease other than a penciled in notation done at the signing.