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Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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Hi Wondered if you can help me with a question. I have a

Customer Question

Hi

Wondered if you can help me with a question. I have a house in London which I rent out to a bank. The contract expires end of July CY 13 but there is a 3 month notice period. The bank wrote to me in late June asking to renew the contract but then subsequently retracted and said they do not need to give me three months notice but plan to leave end of July. They explained that the contract has expired and reached a natural end so the 3 month notice period no longer applies.

The clause below in the initial and renewal contract stipulates that 3 months notice must be given at any time. do you know if I have a case to claim the 3 month rent from the bank?

Thanks. David


Clause 4C states the following: 'It is hereby agreed between the landlord and the Tenant that any time on or after 30 May 2011 the tenancy may be terminated by the tenant having given to the landlord or the landlord's agent three months prior notice in writing such notice not to take effect until 28 February 2011'.

Clause C on the renewal lease states the same point 'Tenancy may be terminated by the tenant giving to the landlord or agent three months notice in writing at any time'




(c) It is hereby agreed between the Landlord and the Tenant that at any time on or after 30 May2011 the Tenancy may be terminated by the Tenant having given to the Landlord or the Landlord’s Agent three months prior notice in writing such notice not to take effect until 28 February 2011 and for the avoidance of doubt in the event that the Agreement is extended under Clause 4 (a) or (b) the three month notice period may be given at any time.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 3 years ago.

Max Lowry :

Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.

Max Lowry :

I read this clause as always requiring the 3 months notice period to be given to terminate the contract under them.

Max Lowry :

So I take it that the 3 months notice is required, but this does depend on the interaction of the clause with the end of term clause.

Max Lowry :

What does the clause say that sets the end of term date as JUly 2013?

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

the renewal document states the following:

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

Renewal Term: A term of one year from 30 July to July 2013. Termination/continuation:

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

Clause C) it is hereby agreed between the landlord and the tenant that the tenancy may be terminated by the tenant giving to the landlord or the landlord's agent three months notice in writing at any time.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

Clause d) it is hereby agreed between the landlord and the tenant that at any time on or after 30 October 2012 the tenancy may be terminated by the landlord having given to the tenant or the tenant relocation company 3 months prior notice in writing,such notice not to take effect until July 2012.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

Clause e) if the tenant vacates the property during the term apart from according to any agreed break clauses which is included within the agreement, the tenant will remain liable to pay rent and any other monies payable under this agreement until the term expires, or the propery is re-let whichever is earlier.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

the relocation company who is representing the tenant (HSBC) are saying that the 3 months notice is not required as the tenancy will come to a natural end in July. She also says that the agreement does not specify a date in which they need to confirm their intention and therefore they are not bound to the terms.

Max Lowry :

Okay. Thank you for setting that out fully.

Max Lowry :

I agree with the bank now you have set out the full text.

Max Lowry :

The text seems to suggest the 3 months is only required to terminate earlier than the end of the term.

Max Lowry :

The term is fixed to 30 JUly 2013, with early termination provisions set out in clauses c and d - that's how I read that.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

thanks for your note. I'm not clear as to how how Clause C) states at all that it is only relevant if they want to terminate before the end of the term. Where does it mention that only notice is required during the term and not at renewal??

Max Lowry :

It doesnt - it's a matter of construction of the provisions together. The contract appears to state an absolute term for the renewal - 1 year, July to July. It doesn't quality or amend that at all.

Max Lowry :

So, the banks view will be that it will expire at the end of July 2013 and that no other notice is required. The termination provisions apply when a party gives notice to terminate. But a fixed term agreement does not require notice to be terminated- it runs its term and then ends.

Max Lowry :

So at the end of the fixed term, the agreement ends. So, termination applies by effluxion of time (end of fixed term), and the notice provisions for termination are superfluous when the agreement ends by the very term it is defined to exist for only.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

I'd also like to know if it has any legal validity the fact that the relocation company sent an email on June 25th requesting renewal of the lease for a further year and offering, including the new rental offer. Here is a copy of the email:

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

On behalf of HSBC Bank plc, the tenant of the above property, please accept this email as request to renew. We would like to propose that the rental amount be increased in line with the current RPI of 3.1% to GBPxxxx per calendar month.

Max Lowry :

Did you respond to this email?

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

Once I have received your acknowledgment of this email,I will draw up the renewal document and will forward it onto you for signing once it has been checked by a senior member of staff here at Sterling.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

I look forward to hearing from you.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

This email was sent to our state agent on June 25. They forward it to us. We have not replied to this email as we were thinking about it.

Max Lowry :

Then at the moment, they're merely making a proposal. If you agree, then you would renew (presumably, for a further year).

Max Lowry :

Until you communicate your agreement, however, there is no extension.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

What happened after this email was sent is the following: On July 1st we received an email from the occupier of the property ( an employee from HSBC) advising us that he has resigned from the bank and he will be leaving the house in July. We then went back to the relocation agency and asked them to notify us in writing if they are planning to renew the lease as per their email of June 25th or asking to give us notice in writing with the 3 month termination. The earlier quote is the reply that I got from them.

Max Lowry :

Thats fine. This doesn't change what I've said above.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

Back to your earlier note, are you saying that if we go back now and replied to the email saying that we take up their offer and we want to renew base on the new rental terms of price etc..they are obliged to renew for a further term?

Max Lowry :

Possibly - if the email sets out the terms of the renewal and amounts to an offer, then an acceptance would make that legally binding.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

However,what I think it has happened is that at the time they sent the email to us on June 25th they were not awared of the fact that the current sub tenant was just about to resign with the bank and obviously leaving the property. I don't believe they are now interested to renew the lease as the employee occupying the property is leaving the company. In view of this all, can we force them to renew base on the fact that they have sent a written offer regardless of whether they need the property or not?

Max Lowry :

Not unless you accept an offer from them by emailing them to tell them you accept the offer to renew. They they would give need to give 3 months notice to end it.

Max Lowry :

Its worth you instructing a solicitor if you want to pursue this - especially if you think you might accept their renewal email.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

The reality is that we are not looking to renew for a further year. what we are really looking for is for them to give us 3 months notice period and pay the rent during this 3 months. Can you pls clarify in very simple terms whether we have a case base on all the above to force them into proving us notice.

Max Lowry :

You would only have a case in my view if you accepted an offer from them in email to renew for a further year on the same terms. If you did this, then I believe you could insist on 3 months notice of termination thereafter.

Max Lowry :

Hope that clarifies for you.

Max Lowry :

I hope this answers your question. If you need further information, either now or later, just let me know and I'll gladly help out.

Please do remember to rate my answer as highly as you can for me. Thank you.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

ok thanks.

JACUSTOMER-qonqft10- :

ok thanks

Max Lowry :

Thank you and good luck with this.

Max Lowry :

Please do remember to rate my answer, and if you need more general information in the future, do just let me know.

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