Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
I assume you signed it please?
No ma'am. The agreement was drawn up between two solicitors. I then asked to receive a copy of it and after a while one copy was sent to me, Because my name and colleague's name were both mis-spelt, we have not signed it; they have quoted us £350 each to change our names on the lease.
Did you sign the original agreement?
Apologies on missing your question earlier. They sent us some Heads of terms (subject to contract) which we were asked to review and confirm what we agree to or not. We negotiated until the terms were mutually agreed. Whilst the lease was being drawn up, we needed to gain access to the premises and were therefore given the keys whilst lease was being finalized. We were told this would be sent to us. When we had been in occupancy of the premises for about a month, I rang my solicitor at the time and queried when we were to expect this. I was told that she (solicitor) had moved offices, but had left the file containing the lease signed by the landlord with her former firm. I had to go to that office to collect it. After we read it we contacted her about the errors in the name, at which point she advised us to contact them to change it as she had written our names clearly. This is when the landlord's agents said we needed to pay to have the names changed. So to date, the lease was not by me or my colleague, and the landlord had not requested the signed copy. What they had sent our then solicitor (which we now have) is a "certified true copy of the original".
So you have NOT signed any copy of a lease?
But now they want to charge to amend?
1) The lease is NOT valid if you and the Landlord have not signed it
2) The Landlord I dont think is entitled to charge for a name change- they should have got it right in the first place.
3) No, its their error, not your fault
4) Its not valid unless signed by the Landlord or their agent if the lease specifies that
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Yes please ma'am, please clarify this for me:
The landlord secretary and an "authorised person" has signed. but we have not given the request for payment to change our name. Does that make it a valid lease?
Yes of course
Yes, if your name is XXXXX XXXXX there is no doubt who you are then it will be ok
Even if it has not been signed by us? We did request they do it under the name of our organisation and instead they did it on our personal names and addresses.
If its not been signed then its not valid and not binding.
So that means, it has been signed only by them and not by us. So it is not effectively a valid lease.
Thank you ma'am. You have been very helpful. We were worried because on the initial Letter and Heads of Terms (subject to contract) received from the landlord's solicitor, it clearly refers to our organisation but on the lease they put our 'misspelt' names, which we did not sign.
Yes do not worry, its not your fault.
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In summary could you tell us what steps we ought to take in this regard? Thank you ma'am we will leave feedback accordingly.
You should write and say that you do not accept the lease and that you are not responsible for the changes.
If the Landlord got it wrong then the Landlord ought to bear the cost of this.
Thank you Ms Watts.
All the best with this.
Many thanks! Your service is appreciated.