How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question

LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 800
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
76316425
Type Your Law Question Here...
LondonlawyerJ is online now

Hello, I would like to kindly ask you for an advice.I was

Customer Question

Hello,
I would like to kindly ask you for an advice.
I was renting a flat in Birmingham, UK, originally it was for 3 month but I agreed with the landlord to leave after 1 week because I didnt find the area safe. The landlord said she couldnt have given me a proper rental agreement in the beginning, just sent me an email, which I printed and we both signed it because I wanted to have at least something in my hand. I did not consider it as a valid contract. However when I was leaving early after one week we did not sign anything. In the printed and signed email there were not stated any responsibilities of myself, so there was no restriction on me leaving. I am a bit nervous now that I dont have anything in my hand proving that we agreed on me leaving early. So I was wondering if the printed and signed email can be taken as a valid contract... Could you please give me any advice? Its been already six month since I left and I have not heard from the landlord.
I am a bit worried she can call me in some years and say that I did not pay the rent and was living there longer than I really did or can want me to pay even if I did not live there or even can want me to pay some legal costs.
The email sent by the landlord which we signed instead of an contract goes as follows:
Dear D.
After viewing the property and meeting you, I can confirm that the accommodation is available for you. As you have requested the property for a period of 3 months the total rent per month will be £580 per month (this includes all bills including, gas, electricity, water and Council Tax). As you require it for a period of 3 months, I will be granting you a licence to occupy the property for a period of 3 months. I have agreed to a reduced rental payment from 20th January 2014 - 1 February 2013 of £100. I have also agreed to reduce the deposit which is normally £450 to £100. The rent commencing on 1st February 2014 and the first day of each month thereafter will be £580.
The keys can be collected on 20th January 2014 upon the payment of the reduced deposit and reduced rent for the rest of January 2014. I will arrange the property to be cleaned,
The additional documents I require form you is simply some photo ID and written confirmation of the address at which you employers are based. I encourage my Tenants to pay their rent via their bank and I will provide you with those details.
Address of the Property
Name and address of the landlord
Signed by the landlord and me
Thanks a lot for your help. Is it possible to consider it as a valid contract? Should I try to contact her and want her to sign something that would prove I left early and don’t owe her anything? Or should I just let it be?
Kind Regards
Datel
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Customer:

Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

Customer:

Looking at that email it would seem to set out a 3 month tenancy agreement. You then reached a verbal agreement to leave which was not evidenced in writing. However you left as agreed and now nearly 11 months later the former landlord has not sought any money from you.

Customer:

If your landlord wanted to get more money from you he would need to prove (on the balance of probabilities) that there was no agreement to end the tenancy and he would need to explain his inactivity in complaining about and seeking to recover arrears from you for the last 11 months. It is likely that he would find that difficult.

Customer:

Did her return your depoist?

Customer:

I think there is no need to write a letter/email in the way you suggest. It may be best to simply let sleeping dogs lie. The more time that passes the better your position becomes.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

Hello,

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

thanks for this.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

She did return the deposit partly, which we agreed on. I have nothing to prove that either.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

She doesnt have my new address, just email and my former office address. She hasnt been in touch with me through email since that time. As much as I know no letter has been received in my former office either, but I cant be completely sure.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

Could she take me to a court without me knowing that?
Can the printed and signed email be considered as a valid contract when there is not printed even my surname? Also when there are not stated any responsibilities of myself, for example that I have to be there all the 3 month?

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

I was thinking about contacting her because I would be calmer then but may be it is not really a good idea as you write. Just in case, if she took me to a court because of that, could she demand from me also some interest and some her legal expenses? I am worried if she take me to a court for example in 3 or 5 year that the costs could be much bigger than today

Customer:

The papers need to be served on you, she has your email address so can contact you and try and find out your address. There is a time limit of 6 months within which she can bring a claim. She can cliam interst but no very much. She will not be able to claim lawyer's costs for a claim of this value but could claim the court fees and minor expenses.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

I thought the limitation period under English law is 6 years, isnt it?

Customer:

Yes 6 years, not sure why 6 months went in there. Mistyped on predictive spell check I think.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

ok, quite a difference

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

And for what claim value can she claim lawyers costs? she is a barrister actually

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

Ok, I would like to sum it somehow. Could you please answer the following questions?
1. Can the printed and signed email be considered as a valid contract when there is not printed even my surname? Also when there are not stated any responsibilities of myself, for example that I have to be there all the 3 month?
2. How they can be sure that the papers were served on me? Do they get any notice when I take it over?
3. Can a letter be considered as served on me when they send it to the address of my former office which I gave to the landlord?
4. What claim value can she claim lawyers costs for?
5. How much about the court fees could be for this amount (about L1500)?
Thanks.

Customer:

2 I don't understand this question.

Customer:

1 it is evidence that contract existed in the same terms as in the email so far as that is consistent with landlord and tenant law (so in short effectively yes).

Customer:

3 No

Customer:

4 any claim less that £10.000 will usually be dealt with in the small claims court where it is not possible to claim lawyers costs.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

1. Ok. But when there is not stated my responsibility to stay at the place for whole 3 months it means I could have left anytime, is it right?

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

2. I meant: Does a court get any confirmation that I really got the letter?
3. Ok, thanks.
4. When the landlord is barrister could she want to get me to a bigger court to get some lawyer costs for herself or for some of her friend who would be lawyer?

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

Thanks a lot

Customer:

1 No one would have to try and work out the rest of the terms from the surrounding circumstances nad the accoutns of the parties.

Customer:

2The claimant has to prove service.

Customer:

4 Absolutely not.

Customer:

I would be grateful if you would please rate my service as I will not get credited for the answers I have given you.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

I will definitely rate your services soon. I just dont understand completely your answer to question 2. Could you please say it in simple language? I mean: Was my obligation to stay for whole 3 month period when it was not stated in the agreement that I had to do that? I could have left early without breaching any obligation of mine, couldnt I?

Customer:

Your original obligations to pay 3 months rent if that was what you agreed even if that part of the agreement was only verbal and not in writing.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

It was in writing.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

The leaving agreement was not in writing.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

The obligation to pay 3 month rent was for the case I would be living there for 3 months Which I did not.

Customer:

Why are you so worried about this? Has your landlord threatened to take action? You have a defence to any possible claim (ie mutual agreement to end the tenancy). It would be ypur word against hers and her lack of action including lack of demands for payment of outsanding rent would undermine her case if any and you would be likely to win.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

I am just stressed out that I have nothing in my hand that we agreed to end the tenancy and she has the agreement. I know we agreed that orally but as it is not in writing she could change her mind.
She has not threatened me to take action but she could do that in future.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

That is why I have been thinking about sending her the email if she can just confirm that we agreed I would move out. I know you dont recommend it, possibly I could get the situation even worse, couldnt I? But it would probably make me calmer if I got the email.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

If she demanded to get all the rent from me, it would be about L1500, so with the court fees it should not be higher that something about L2000, is it right? Just in case.. I would definitely like to avoid a court if she contacted me.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

Anyway I would like to rate your service already but after that I will not be able to get back to the conversation, is it right?

Customer:

I am afraid you will just have to live with that uncertainly. Yes your figures are right. Rating my answers will not end the conversation and I will continue to respond to any further questions.

JACUSTOMER-jul85twf- :

ok, thanks..
just one more question, if I send her an email and ask her to confirm that I left early after mutual agreement, the worst thing which can happen is that I remind her about the issue and she could want me to pay the money, am I right?

Customer:

Yes.

LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 800
Experience: Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
LondonlawyerJ and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just one more question please: If I am not British and dont live in the UK it would still go to small claims court? Thanks.

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Yes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, thanks a lot, could I have just one more question?
Even the contract is not really formal, it is supposed to be Assured Shorthold tenancy, is it right?
If so, it would be changed to periodic tenancy in the end of the fixed term. How could I prove that I left earlier and did not stay till the end of the fixed term and therefore the tenancy did not change into periodic? Would be another rental agreement or a flight ticket to outside of UK sufficient enough?
I would not like to go through a situation when the landlord calls me in 5 years and ask me to pay rent for whole 5 years as I do not have any letter of surrender.
Thanks a lot...

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
If you are not there the tenancy can not turn into a periodic tenancy.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, but if I say I was not there and he says I was so it would be a my word against his. And how could I prove it?

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Perhaps because you cod prove you were living somewhere else (using tenancy agreement, letters to you, phone bills etc.)

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
 
 
 

Related Law Questions