Notice for break clause by email, from agent

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    Notice for break clause by email, from agent

    Hello,
    I received written notice, by email, from my letting agent, that my tenant wants to implement a six-month break clause within a 12-month AST (in England).
    I received the email on 01 September 2010 (upon returning from a long weekend). It was dated 27 August 2010, giving two months notice to the 29th of October 2010. This is all in accordance with the lease, which started on 29th April 2010 and clearly states the tenant's right to implement a break clause at the six-month point (but not after).
    However there was no letter, registered or otherwise, from the tenant to me implementing the break. There was only this email, written by the agent, which I received after the two-month notice period expired.
    Am I obliged to accept the break?
    Thank you for any advice.

    #2
    email

    In response to your query, an email as I understand is a legally binding document for service. However, it may be prudent to check this point with a solicitor.

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      #3
      seems T gave notice to LA in a manner they obviously accepted ... so can't see any raeson why not valid.

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        #4
        The only thing email does not give us is non-repudiation. This is guaranteed proof that the person who sent it did actually send it.

        Not likely to be an issue unless you sign up new tenants and on the day they move in you find out the tenant is still in situ - possibly not a very likely case.

        If there is any doubt (eg do you think the agency has screwed up in some way?) ask for the original email from the tenant, including headers. This will give you a starting point to check if it looks genuine (if you know what to look for).


        For reference, a common way to guarantee an email is genuine is if it signed with a digital signature (eg the person sending it has a security package on their PC such as PGP, and digitally signs it with their private key (allowing you to check it against their public key). This however requires a certain level of technical sophistication missing from most Internet users.
        Liability statement. My liability to you is not to exceed the amount you are paying for my recommendations or advice.

        I see a bright new future, where chickens can cross the road with no fear of having their motives questioned

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          #5
          The only thing email does not give us is non-repudiation. This is guaranteed proof that the person who sent it did actually send it.

          Not likely to be an issue unless you sign up new tenants and on the day they move in you find out the tenant is still in situ - possibly not a very likely case.

          If there is any doubt (eg do you think the agency has screwed up in some way?) ask for the original email from the tenant, including headers. This will give you a starting point to check if it looks genuine (if you know what to look for).



          For reference, a common way to guarantee an email is genuine is if it signed with a digital signature (eg the person sending it has a security package on their PC such as PGP, and digitally signs it with their private key (allowing you to check it against their public key). This however requires a certain level of technical sophistication missing from most Internet users.
          Liability statement. My liability to you is not to exceed the amount you are paying for my recommendations or advice.

          I see a bright new future, where chickens can cross the road with no fear of having their motives questioned

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you, but strictly speaking isn't the Notice defective?
            It needs to be sent to me as the Landlord?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Zepha View Post
              Thank you, but strictly speaking isn't the Notice defective?
              It needs to be sent to me as the Landlord?
              Does your agent manage the property, or is the agent only used to find the tenant?

              Comment


                #8
                Hello MM, The agent manages the property. The TA states that notice must be given to the Landlord. I'm not sure where I stand here.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Zepha View Post
                  Hello MM, The agent manages the property. The TA states that notice must be given to the Landlord.
                  Who's name and address appears on the tenancy agreement to be used for the purpose of serving notices?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    mine, the Landlord.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Have you had any previous dealings with the tenant, or have they always dealt with the agent?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hello MM,
                        I think I get your drift - they have always dealt with the agency. However I am trying to understand whether the notice must be given as prescribed in the TA, to me directly, and therefore whether as it stands it is defective.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Zepha View Post
                          they have always dealt with the agency.
                          Most tenants think of the agent as their landlord, because that is who they always deal with.
                          Most landlords, who use an agent to fully manage their property, want no contact with their tenant.
                          Therefore, it is the usual practice for the tenant to give their notice to the agent. Your tenant probably gave written notice to your agent. It was unfortunate that you were way from home when your agent informed you of the notice given on 27th August.

                          If you are not happy about the tenant exercising their legal right to use the break clause in their contract, you shouldn't have included one.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thank you for the advice - I was happy with the inclusion of a break clause, and they have been very good tenants (so far...). It's all a bit sudden though, and having spent so much money making the property really nice I was looking for a return.
                            Can I ask quickly; is there an obligation for all covenants to be fulfilled for the break clause to remain in effect? If they - for example, and unlikely - do not pay the last month's rent, does this affect their rights to exercise the break clause?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Zepha View Post
                              If they - for example, and unlikely - do not pay the last month's rent, does this affect their rights to exercise the break clause?
                              There is nothing you can do to stop your tenant using the break clause. If they do not pay their rent, you would have to take the arrears out of their deposit, if your tenancy agreement allows you to do this. Or you would have to take them to the small claims court to get any money that you are owed.

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