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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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I placed a Lettet of intent to rent a house but before going

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I placed a Lettet of intent to rent a house but before going forward with the Lease agreement and signature of the lease agreement I changed my mind and informed the landlord that I no longer wish to rent his property. He is now threatening me with layers and trying to force me to sin the lease. Does he have the right to force me to rent his house if I never went ahead with the lease agreement signature?
Good day and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try and assist you today.

In order to provide you with the most accurate answer, I may have to ask you a lot of questions. This may seem tedious and irrelevant, but trust me, there is a reason for every question. So please be patient throughout the process and if it takes a little long for me to come back to you, it is probably because I am researching your answer. I hope that is okay.

Was there anything in the letter of intent that says that if the landlord signs it, it becomes a contract?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No the letter of intent ended on "subject to both parties signing a lease agreement within a reasonable time"
Did you move into the property?

How long after signing the letter of intent did you decide not to go ahead with the lease?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No we haven't moved in and informed the lessor about our intention not to go ahead within 7 days of signing the letter if intent
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We signed it on the 1st October 6 days ago and the lease was supposed to start on 1 November but the letter states "subject to both parties entering a lease agreement with terms and conditions satisfactory to both parties within a reasonable time of this letter of intent
The Consumer Protection Act does allow for the early termination of a fixed term agreement, but for that to happen, there must be an agreement.

From the contents of your posts it would seem that this was not the case, but what you did was to create an expectation. So, although you cannot be sued for breach of contract, you did create an expectation with the landlord that his place will be rented out from the first of November. He cannot, however, force you to enter into an agreement with him.

The question is now whether he can take legal action against you for anything and that depends on what the effect of your refusal to continue to enter a lease agreement had. If he had to show away another potential tenant who was able and willing to enter into a lease agreement because he was holding out the place for you, he would potentially have a claim for loss of income against you, which would probably not be more than a months' rent. This is contingent on him NOT finding a tenant before 1 November.

I hope I have answered all of your questions and addressed all your concerns, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively.
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