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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Hi, I own a house which I leased to an Agent, for 2 years

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I own a house which I leased to an Agent, for 2 years from 27th May 2012 .
I wrote informing them that I would require the return of the property at the end of the agreement, on 14th April 2014.
I was informed they would not be returning the property, after I phoned the week before, as I had not served the correct notice. I dispute this.
I would appreciate your opinion if you are able to read through the relevant clauses in the Lease, as below
H14 If the Lessee wishes to take a further lease of the Property from the end of the Term or any extension thereof, and at any time during the period of six months before that date gives to the Lessor not less than one month's notice of that wish, then, provided the Lessee has paid all the Rent due and the Lessee does not receive any notice from the Lessor within one month of serving the option notice that the Lessor requires vacant possession of the Property at the end of the term, the Lessor must grant to the Lessee a further Lease of the Property for a Term equivalent to the term of years requested by the Lessee commencing on and including the day following the last day of the Term, on the same terms and conditions as the Lease except as to the initial rent.
H17 If at the end of the Term this Lease has not been terminated and the Lessee has not yielded up the premises with vacant possession or given Notice to terminate, the tenancy hereby created will continue from year to year until the Lessor or Lessee serves on the other written notice to terminate the Tenancy and in the case of such notice given by the Lessor to the Lessee the notice period shall be not less than three months expiring on the anniversary of the last day of the Term and no other date.
The Agent is saying I should have given three months notice as per H17, by I read it that H17 only came into force if the Lease had not been terminated before the end of the Term.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX forward to hearing from you.
Lesley
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you.

To confirm I understand this as follows:
- The lessee may give you not less than one months notice to extend the lease BEFORE the end of the term;
- If the lessors gives the lessee notice that it requires the property back with in one month of receiving the extension notice, the lessee must vacate the property at the end of the term.

Would you agree with this summary?

Reading clause H17 is there any other clause that says how notice must be given? Is there a definition of "Notice to Terminate"?

Also is the rent paid monthly?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,


Yes -That is what clause H14 states.


 


There are no other clause concerning notice or any definition of 'Notice to Terminate'


 


Rent is paid monthly.


 


Kind regards,


 


Lesley

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

I agree with interpretation the clause says "If at the end of the Term this Lease has not been terminated...." - meaning that this clause is contingent on notice not having been served at the end of the lease.

If the contract is silent then one could assume that one months notice should be sufficient as that is the rental period.

Is the agent claiming a year long extension?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,


 


Thank you.


 


The Agent has not said anything other than they are not giving up the Property.


 


Kind regards,


 


Lesley

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

So based on the notice period you have given, it is 6 weeks notice?

The starting point needs to be you have to write to the Agent and not get into a protracted argument about notice. You have given notice and if they dispute it, it will ultimately be up to a court to interpret the lease and determine whether you should be given a possession order or not.

In the mean time you have to write to the agent a letter marked "Without Prejudice" (this allows you to make admissions without prejudicing your claim) and ask them to confirm what exactly it is they intend to do? Say you have quite clearly given notice and if they wont give up possession when you have asked, ask why and when they intend to give up possession.

This is really important because if they do not agree to go voluntarily you either have to:
1. Accept their interpretation and wait another year;
2. Go to court and seek a possession order;
3. Come to an amicable agreement.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
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