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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23058
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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We had a business building portable units contracting to

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Hi there, we had a business building portable units contracting to another business with no contract. The business decided they wanted to take over the building in their own new premises which we were happy to do and it was agreed verbally that they wouldn't leave us in the learch with the lease and would have first option on new unit builds until we could get out of our building lease. Three months before our lease expired they stopped giving us anymore work and left us with the lease. In this time I sent an email challenging him to the promise and said he had lied as we hadn't anymore work from them. He replied back saying he wasn't a lair
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: That he he had offered to continue to give us builds on units til our lease expired. I replied why haven't we had any orders come through then and I never got a reply. The building has sat empty for 3 months and were in debt now. Does his email quoting he offered to give us builds have any legal standing to take the matter further? I'm in Auckland nz
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They owe us a small amount for outstanding invoices. Just the fact the whole arrangement was verbal over 5 years ago as their connected by family. But to promised not to be left in the lurch with a $10k mth lease and for it to be done and then to have it in email I'm wondering if we can take it further
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sorry he said he hadn't lied and had offered to continue giving us builds. Not had

A verbal contract is just as good as a written contract provided the terms and conditions are clear. If they agreed that they would not leave you holding the lease, that is a promise to keep giving you work until the lease expired. That is really a promise to either provide work to enable you to pay the rent, or to help you with the rental if they didn't give you any work or enough work. So you can claim a breach of promise, which is a form of breach of contract in which you say that they promised to give you work or help with the lease, but failed to do so leaving you with the cost of the lease at $30,000 plus of course what they owe for the outstanding invoices

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
how would I go about taking it the next step further? What sort of lawyer? Do I have a case? Do you think from my info and the fact I have evidence in email that it would be a positive outcome?

I would suggest the 1st step might be to instruct a lawyer who could write a full letter making demand for the breaches of contract and to the debt which you have incurred for rental. You need to consider what your damages are, and come up with a calculation for the amount which you have actually suffered as losses. If this was under $15,000, you could make a claim in the Disputes Tribunal. For this you do not need a lawyer. If the claim is for a lot more, then you would need to file a claim in the District Court, and you would need a lawyer with experience in court litigation.

Another option would be to make the calculations, and then see if you can reach a settlement by way of a commercial mediation, using a professional mediator. This would be much cheaper than a court proceeding, and help preserve the family connection

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi thanks for that I'm really appreciative of your advice. I'm just in contact with my husband and will get back to you soon.

Great, please feel free to ask further

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