Hi I live in Myrtle Beach Sc, my question is we have leased a property for a year and 2 months when our lease was up the landlord and his real estate person verbally agreed that we could just pay rent for two months and then in August enter into a six month lease...We agreed however the real estate person waited until the 26th of June to notify us that they now require a 9 month lease effective immediately as of July 1st we are to sign the contract with the July 1st rent is this legal do we have any rights to fight this???? Thank You for your help Rachel
Hello,Thank you for using JA. Please don't shoot the messenger, but when a lease for a set term is up, the tenant then becomes a tenant at sufferance and the landlord can either end the tenancy or enter into a new lease of their choosing with the tenant. The tenant can then either vacate or agree to the new lease terms. .However, if they agreed to a 2 month extension, then that would be considered a binding oral contract if you have already paid for June. So you would only be obligated to pay for July now and could then vacate if you didn't want to enter into the new lease that the owner is proposing..But if my math is correct, they are proposing essentially an 9 month lease effective July 1 instead of a 6 month one effective starting August 1. So it would be up to you as to whether you wanted to vacate at the end of July or be bound for an additional 2 months longer than you had wanted..I know this is not the news you had hoped for..
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but my question is can they just change their mind after verbally agreeing to do a 6 month lease with us????
Typically anything to do with real estate must be in writing in order to be legally binding under the "statute of frauds", which basically says this. .The exception is an oral contract where performance has already started. For example with the 2 month extension, once June rent was paid, it is a binding contract..With that said, you could argue that the entire agreement was 2 month extension and a 6 month lease and when they fail to comply with the entire agreement, that would be a breach of contract and entitle you to damages for the breach. The damages could include the additional cost of having to rent another place at a higher rate..So you could tell the agent and landlord that you have already entered into an agreement with them for the 2 month extension and then the 6 month lease and that you will be forced to take legal action should they breach the agreement. Then it is a showdown to see if they back down and agree to the 6 month lease..
one more question please, our Rent is due 1 July,however we have until the 5th to pay it before it is considered late, would you recommend we go ahead and pay this months rent and inform them of the situation of a binding contract and see if they will voluntarily back down before we hire an attorney to represent us?????
Yes, I would definitely test the waters before I spent the money to hire an attorney. They may simply back down rather than face the prospect of being dragged into court and sued..I would probably act like this was a mistake on their part and notify the agent that there must be a mistake as you agreed to a 2 month extension and a 6 month lease, not a 9 month one. If they then try to say that the owner changed his mind, then it would be time to firm up and tell them that you considered this a binding contract and you are not willing to deviate from the contract that you already agreed to and have performed under. You may consider taking any lease that they gave you and make the modifications in writing on it, initialling the changes where made, and submitting it back to the landlord..
Thank you so much for your expert advice...This is exactly what we needed.....I cannot Thank you enough...You will be getting an excellant mark on this one..... Regards Rachel
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