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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10796
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I have signed a 12 month contract with a local agency

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I have signed a 12 month contract with a local agency for a flat. There was no break clause. I want to move out before the contract is over, and spoke to the agency. He agreed that I can move out as long as I pay 15% of all remaining fees. I agreed and made the payment. However, after received my payment, he changed his words and claim I have to wait until the next tenant starts and need to pay the rent in between.
However, I was told, quote form his email:
" As the landlord has kindly agreed to release you from the tenancy agreement even though he didn’t have to. As a gesture of good will rather than paying the full term of the rent due for the remaining tenancy, you will only be required to pay a percentage of that. This is no different to having a break clause in the tenancy agreement.
I was told this before paying them. And now they are saying this is not the case anymore. We don't have a paperwork about this one but only an email. May I know what I should do? Should I sue the agent?
Best Regards,
Tang
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. Dear Tang, this email is sufficient to give rise to an estoppel whereby you can prevent the agent from suing you for the remainder of the rent owning. It matters not that it was only one email. It is sufficient to give rise to an estoppel which protect you in law. An estoppel arises where you rely to your detriment upon a representation made by the other party to the tenancy agreement. The law then prevents the other party from going back on their word. Here you relied to your detriment upon the representation that no more rent would become payable once you had paid 15% of the outstanding value of the tenancy contract. Once you paid the 15% of the contract price, an estoppel or fresh agreement arises which prevents the agent and the landlord from going back on their word. So you can leave the premises and not be responsible for any more rent. Alternatively, but I would not advise this, you can sue the agent for going back on their word.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. However, I would suggest that the simple course is simply to vacate the premises secure in the knowledge that the you cannot be sued for any outstanding rent. Leave the agent sue you if he wishes. However, the agent will lose if he sues you. If you wish you can write a letter in these terms to the agent. Alternatively , you can get a solicitor to write a letter on your behalf. However, the tenancy is now at an end.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
3. Please Rate the answer as unless you Rate the Answer your Expert receives no payment for answering your Question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ni Buachaill, thank you very much for your kind help. I now have much more confident dealing with them. However, I still have my deposite at their hand which is quite a lot of money. Would I still be able to get the deposite money back? I've also registered one of my friend as my guarantor and wish not to bring him any trouble.Thank you very much for your help
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
4. You can sue for the return of your deposit as the Agent is obliged to return it to you as the tenancy is now at an end. So you should formally write to the agent and seek the return of your deposit. Secondly, the estoppel is good to preclude liability for your guarantor as well as the guarantor is only a secondary liability on the primary tenancy agreement. I would advise you to formally write to the agent and should it then be necessary, get a solicitor and sue for the return of your deposit or if it is with a Deposit agency, enter into dispute resolution for the return of your deposit.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much, may I know if it is possible that you could help me write to them, and of course, at a cost. Let me know if it is possible and how we could do this.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
5. I will be happy to help you. However, you should accept the offer of a Premium Service of more Q & A time.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
6. You will also have to Rate the initial Answer. This is essential as I don't get paid as the Expert unless you Rate the Answer.
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