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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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, I moved into a commercial office property back in

Customer Question

I moved into a commercial office property back in December 2014. After being in the property for 10 weeks i had not received a lease agreement from the property agents whom i was dealing with; despite sending numerous emails asking for one. Whilst in the property i reserved the right not to pay any rent until the legal documentation was provided stating the terms of my tenancy agreement.
Once i finally received the a lease agreement (10 weeks into our occupancy) it was riddled with mistakes that contradicted the terms that had previously been agreed upon before moving in. In addition to this, an email was sent to me from the property agents that was clearly intended for one of their business associates - maybe a in house legal team. This email implied that we would not be using solicitors to overlook the agreement and that 'we would probably just sign the agreement', without looking. Upon reading that email i began to search for a new office to move into.
In the meantime i had a visit from a member of the city council regarding the business rates on the building. This lady informed me that rates were to be paid directly to the council - not the property agents. One such discrepancy in the lease agreement was that i had to pay the rates directly to the property agents. The price the property agents quoted me was far more money than the lady from the council had quoted me after she measured up the offices i was in. I moved out of those offices in the last week of February.
The reason i am getting in touch now is because i have today received threatening text messages from the landlord of the building - not the property agents whom i was dealing with. My questions are as follows:
1. I have yet to pay rent for the time spent in these offices; and i expect to have to pay some of the monies owed. However i had to move office which incurred some considerable expenses - can this be deducted from the amount owed?
2. Am i in fact obligated to pay these people?
3. Is it ok that the property agents passed on my personal details and home address to the landlord?
Thank you for your assistance with this matter.
Kind Regards, *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello Josh my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Why did you have to move please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I had to move office because there was no clear resolution in site.

As i mentioned - we had been in the property for 10 weeks before receiving the first lease agreement - despite me emailing the property agents regularly to chase it up. When the lease agreement was finally provided they were trying to over charge us on rates and insisted it was paid directly to them, not the city council. We had agreed that all bills would be inclusive of the monthly rent prior to moving in but the lease agreement it stated we had to pay the bills separately. When i contested this they denied it - despite me having it in writing. And finally - when i received the email that was clearly intended for someone else i lost all trust in the people i was dealing with. It appeared like they were looking to take advantage of our ignorance and our lack of experience.

Overall i moved because i felt nervous staying there. I have a start-up business that had only been running for 14 months at the time. I therefore do not have money to just throw around. Having an office is essential to the running of my company and my position in that office felt insecure.


Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok - but there was only no lease and an argument on rates.
Was that all which was wrong?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

And it had been agreed in writing before moving in to the offices that bills would be included - The lease agreement provided after 10 weeks stated that we had to pay bills on top of rent.

I then recieved the following email intended for someone else:


I have agreed terms to let 3 small offices here and the heads of terms are attached.

I suspect the tenants will simply sign the lease rather than use lawyers.

Can you amend the document you sent to reflect these terms and return it to me

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok - but is your complaint this:
1) You did not get a lease
2) You thought rates were included when it appears they had not?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,
Yes just to confirm, we moved into the property in December 2014. The terms of the contract (which I have in writing via email) were:
1: rent of 600pcm plus vat
2: inclusive of all utility bills
3: that business rates were assessed as individual offices (this meaning we are eligible for rate relief)
Through the 10 week period we were in the property we received a contract after 7 weeks after numerous requests. This stated that:
1: rent of 600pcm plus vat
2: not inclusive of all utility bills
3: that business rates were assessed as an entire floor (roughly triple the size of our office) this would mean we would not be entitled to rate relief.
Following 3 weeks of requesting new terms to match what we had previously agreed, there was no success. The main reasons for moving were:
1. No contract equals no valid insurance
2. Safety of the company, we had received an email meant for someone else saying we would just sign the lease anyway!
The main questions we need answering are:
1. Do we need to pay any rent for this period? No contract was signed
2. Can we deduct expenses for moving, e.g. A days work for the 2 directors, van hire etc
3. The landlord has sent text messages and for some reason came round to my house this morning. Seemed somewhat threatening. Should he be allowed to call round?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Than you Josh. Let me answer your questions:1) Do you need to pay rent for the period - I assume you mean the period you were in possession. The answer is yes. You were in occupation. Therefore if you were in occupation then rent is due for this occupied period. Even if no contract was signed you accept you were there. Contracts can be verbal as well as written. Given there was no contract written and you were in occupation means if it went to Court you would lose on that issue.However if you paid rates then this can be deducted from any rent owing, as it was a term of the agreement that it included this. So if you paid rates you can reduce by this sum2) Can you deduct expenses for moving - sadly not. If it was the case the Landlord has been in fundamental breach of the contract then yes. But the only breaches here are the lack of written contract and the rates issue. Sadly that is not enough to claim a fundamental breach and as such you can't claim for moving expenses.3) He can come round if he has made an appointment. If he threatens you this can be reported to the Police. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

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