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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11135
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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How binding is a lease?

Resolved Question:

We signed a leases with a letting agency  to continue with another years lease.

We sent it back the paper work and thought everything was fine. We have now been told that the landlord wants the property back so his daughter can move in.

The agent says he has not signed yet so there is nothing we can do. Is this right? If he instructed the agent go ahead and get us to sign for another year then is that not binding without him putting his signature to it.

The agent is now saying his daughter is part owner of the property. However, she does not appear on the lease agreement.

Our flat is in Edinburgh.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
A lease is only binding if it's in writing so if the landlord hasn't signed it's not binding even if you have.
However, if you
(1) already have a lease which has expired or is about to expire, ie, your "old" lease, and
(2) that lease doesn't say anything specific about renewal, and
(3) that lease was not properly terminated in writing
the "old" lease will automatically renew itself for the same period again by what is called tacit relocation under Scots common law.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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