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Ask Daniel Your Own Question
Daniel, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5710
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (dist) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practise. Admitted NSW Supreme Court / High Court
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My partner and I signed a lease agreement on 24/8/15 which

Customer Question

My partner and I signed a lease agreement on 24/8/15 which was due to commence on 12/09/2015. On 04/09/2015 my partner was made redundant and due to the change in circumstances, we immediately advised the property manager that we would be unable to move in or begin the lease. It is noted that we had not moved in to the property, we had not been provided with keys and no monies (bond or rent in advance) had been paid.
The property manager demanded a "break lease fee" of one week's rent and any rental payments up until a new tenant was found, or $2000 (four weeks rent) to walk away from the lease.
The property was then re-advertised at a higher price than was stipulated in our agreement.
The property manager has advised that a new tenant has been secured (we are aware that the property has been re-let at the higher amount) and that we owe 6 days rent plus the penalty fee of one week's rent.
Are we liable to pay this full amount? We had offered (without prejudice) to pay the 6 days rent in good faith, however not the penalty fee.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

Does the lease agreement stipulate anything about break of lease?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not in the agreement itself (it is a standard tenancy agreement). However from what I am aware they would be claiming compensation under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act. I believe the question is if we can argue the validity of a complete agreement or contract given that we have not taken possession of the property in anyway and have not provided any payment or deposit?
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

Their representation of $2000.00 is binding.
it is not a matter for you if they cannot find another tenant, especially if they 'upped' the rent.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why would we be bound to $2000 when they have now demanded 6 days rent plus a break lease fee which is significantly less? Again, my question is if there is a valid contract given we advised that we could not follow through before the move in date, we have obviously not taken possession of the property and no money has been exchanged?
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, I thought that the 6 days was on top of the 4 weeks.
There is a valid contract, it is immaterial that you have not moved in sadly.
You do need to pay for the issue, 6 days and a fee is more than reasonable, in the eyes of a court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could you clarify the elements of the contact? I am aware that the offer was made and acceptance was conveyed - but the consideration is unclear to me.
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

All that is needed is




The contract was offered, you accepted it.

Consideration is the promise made in the contract.

They promised a place to rent, which was provided.

You promised to pay for it, but didn't (for good reason)

Thus, you breached the contract, sadly.

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

I can give further assistance if need be.
Please leave feedback as to my service.