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Is an email legally binding?

(9 Posts)
fruitstick Tue 23-Nov-10 11:36:19

We are living in a rented house. We signed up for 6 months (with a rolling month on month after that).

However, after the initial 6 months we decided to a renew on a 6 month by 6 month basis as we needed the security of knowing where we were.

However, we are 3 months into to our 2nd renewal and need to leave.

We never had a formal amendment to our contract, just an email from the landlord confirming that we had extended our lease for a further 6 months (which I replied to).

Can we get out of our tenancy or will we have to pay him the remaining 3 months' rent?

cestlavielife Tue 23-Nov-10 16:02:16

should be one month notice - unless original lease specified two months notice.

trixymalixy Tue 23-Nov-10 17:52:13

I don't know about the legal aspect of this, but morally you owe him 3 months rent.

I think it's really off that you wanted the security of a 6 month lease and now it doesn't suit you you're trying to dispute the legality of your agreement. I bet if it was the other way round and your landlord was trying to get out of it you would be screaming blue murder!!

ItalianLady Tue 23-Nov-10 17:55:19

What trixy said.

fruitstick Tue 23-Nov-10 18:04:54

Trixy you are absolutely right of course. I'm hoping to speak to him and come to a reasonable arrangement that he's happy with. I just wanted to know where we stood legally.

nancydrewrocked Tue 23-Nov-10 21:50:38

If you committed to a 6 month period with no break clause then an email stating that was your intention (or indeed confirming the position as set out by the LL) would be legally binding.

fruitstick Tue 23-Nov-10 22:34:15

The email said "we have agreed to extend the lease on xxx by a further six months. The lease will now run until the 6th April 2011."

That was it. There is no mention of break clauses, notice periods or anything else.

I realise I am going to have to throw myself on his mercy.

WestVirginia Tue 23-Nov-10 22:42:59

Have a look at the original 6 month lease document.

I think you should be able to give one months notice.

Some of the other replies above are probably from landlords and thus biassed.

nancydrewrocked Tue 23-Nov-10 22:54:51

In that case it sounds like you are at his mercy unless you can argue that the extension is to include the terms of the original lease. On the face of it it is slighltly ambiguous but presumably at some point you made it clear to him that you wanted the security of a 6 month fixed lease. It doesn't matter how it was communicated (fax, email, phone, carrier pigeon) it is binding.

What would usually happen in these circumstances is that you would bear the costs of him finding someone else during "your" rental period. So if he found you through an agency you would be liable to the agency fees for finding a new tenant and also the agents % of the rent for the remaining months of your agreement.

It's in the LL's interest to get someone in ASAP afetr you leave so hopefully the costs to you wont be excessive.

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