Alex Watts :
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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts :
What is it specifially you would like to know please?
How to return the keys and do the walk through the property and get lease release confirmation. They, I mean the landlord and his solicitor have not bothered to reply to my termination letter which was sent in mid January 2014 and the termination date was 31st March 2014. So When I ring the solicitor for the return of keys I was told since you have paid the full rent as far they are concerned the lease is still valid, I basically told them the invoices from their managemnet company were in queries and will not pay until the queries are solved. I have all the emails & letters regarding this.
No where in the lease agreement it says they cannot accept our termination notice...Do I need to write to them but what to write as I have already written with all the problems we have had so legally where do we stand....Thanks Rashid
Alex Watts : Why can't you drop the keys back with the termination notice please? Are you tied in for a minimum period?
Yes the lease period is to end in Septemberr 2014 but we had a break clause of 6 months in between and that fell on 31st March 2014 and giving them 2 months notice in January 2014, Originally we wanted to move on 31st January 2014 and when the notice was given the solicitor wrote back saying no lease ends in september 2014 but it was obivious that they did not read the break in clause and when the notice was given all we got was safe receipt of the notice and that was that. What they do not realise is when we moved in 2006 we refurbished the whole office for £46k and we have left all there, all they have to do is a little paint here & there and they can rent it out no problem. Refurbishment includes bathroom/shoer 2 kitchens floor tiles blinds etc and we looked after the office. If they are trying to agrovatr
aggrovate or annoy us then we will get rid of all above.
so please advise as what to do...Thanks
Alex Watts : Did you not write back and state the clause that allowed you to break?
Alex Watts : Are you now past the break clause point?
The first termination letter was for 31st January 2014 which they wrote saying lease expires in September 2014 but the second termination notice stated that about the break in clause and that this notice is as per break in clause giving them the 2 months notice required but about for safe receipt of this letter nothing more on break in clause. The break in clause period was 31st March 2014.
Alex Watts : Have they refused this please?
Nothing in writing but when I rang to hand in the keys then I was told since we have not paid the rent arrears as far they are concerned lease is still on, no where in the lease terms does it say that if you do not pay the rent your termination is not acceptable and why did they not write about this when the notice was given, why keep quiet.
Alex Watts : Anything in the lease that says you can not terminate if there are arrears please?
This is what the lease says about tenant's break clause..........." if the tenant wishes to determine this lease and shall give the landlord at least 2 months prior notice in writing to determine the terms expiring on 31st March 2014..then if the tenant has paid the said rents which are lawfully due and have been demanded at least 21 days before the determination date owing under terms of the lease up to and including the determination date and gives vacant possession of the premises to the landlord on the determination date then upon the expiry of such notice the term shall immediately cease and determine, but without prejudice to the rights of the landlord in respect of any antecedent claim or breach of covenant" I really do not understand this...let me brifly explain. having worked out the service charges up to 31st March 2014 I make it they owe us about £6k and that includes invoices in query, rent outstanding is about £17.5K and our rent deposit is £12.5k. overall they owe us about £1K..
Alex Watts : If you wrote and they refused then you are not links,
Alex Watts : pliable.
Alex Watts : @ liable @
Alex Watts : If when you initially wrote they refused to accept it and it was their mistake then if at the first point it was correct then it's their fault.
Alex Watts : However clearly this is their mistake the second time you can't be liable.
Alex Watts : This is because if they are at fault you are not liable for the mistake.
Alex Watts : You need to write and say that they have been negligent and/or breach of contract.
Alex Watts : They are liable. You are not at fault.
Alex Watts : The agreement could have been complied with the first time
Alex Watts : If it was not because if them that is not your fault.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
I will write no problem but what am I suppose to write I do not quite understand. The first time I think they are right in refusing but the expiry date they gave was wrong because that was the end of lease term 30th September 2014 and they ignored or did not know about the break in clause date which was 31st March 2014, Please note I am no good with this legal matters.
Alex Watts : You need to write and say you wished to exercise the break clause and point out the clause in the contract.
Alex Watts : You need to make sure whatever contractual obligation is required you are up to date.
Alex Watts : If it is and the Clause is valid they can not refuse to accept.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Alex Watts : if you gave norice in January 2014 you could have ended in march 2014
Yes the clause is correct because this is what we insisted before signing the lease...Is their an email or fax number I can send you the break clause part..Yes ot helps and we gave notice in middle of January 2014 for termination date 31st March 2014...The only thing I do not understand is Why they have said the lease has not terminated as yet, This I was told over the phone when trying to return the keys...
Alex Watts : I can't see why,
Alex Watts : This is because you have followed the termination clause process.
Alex Watts : its their fault.
Alex Watts : You are not liable,
Alex Watts : Write and set out the clause and how you complied with it
Alex Watts : Its their fault.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything?
I wrote the break clause to you and the way I read there is something about rent ''if the tenant has paid the said rent which are lawfully due'' and like I said we did not pay the rent of £17.5k althought the landlord took money from the deposit account and gave the management company about £8k and the rest he took as rent and said we need to bring the rent deposit back to £12.5k, just clarify this and I can then write to them accordingly. Thanks
Alex Watts : You must pay the whole rent with no deduction of set off unless the lease allows.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Sorry I do not understand, the landlord has already taken about £4k from the deposit for the rent, we really do not want to pay any more money for rent or service charge as there are lots of other issues that needed attention/action but we got no where...so my boss refuses to pay any money at present. All we want is to return the keys and we will fight for the moneies if due. Conclusion Can I just write to ask for return of keys and walk through the property, are we breaking any law in doing so...
Alex Watts : Yes you can do that and you are not breaking any law.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Ok thanks for your help and if I need any future advise can you provide with any of your details so I can contact you direct........best wishes
Alex Watts : You can put questions for Alex W
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy. If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.