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our company had a lease of a serviced office that comes to

term on 12/16/13. In the...
our company had a lease of a serviced office that comes to term on 12/16/13. In the contract it said that we have to give 2 month notice if we are to terminate the lease on that date. If we don't provide written notice then our lease will be extended for 12 months.
We emailed the notice 2 weeks prior to the due date 10/17/13. The agent claims that she didn't receive it (a week pass 10/17/13) and when I forwarded the copy of that email she stated that the notice had to be delivered either by hand or by registered mail (fine print in the back of the contact) which didn't happen. She didn't mention any of that prior to the cut off date. We outgrew the office space and want to move out (larger offices that they offer are out of our budget) .
I asked to speak to her Superior thinking that dealing with a different person might help to resolve the issue but she wouldn't give it to me. Please let me know if anything could be done in this situation. Thank you A.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
10/30/2013
James Mather
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22,629
Experience: Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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What does the tenancy agreement say about notice by email (exact wording please in the small print)
How much is the rent?
What does the agreement say about giving notice to expire other than at end of a term.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

on the front page


7 Accomodation Service Details


office space in the Suite 1734 GBP


List office fee 2,750.00 Notice Period 2


Term commencement date 17/12/2012 Number of people 1


Initial term ending date 16/12/2013


Term of the agreement 12 Outgoings 300 GBP


Office per month 1,375.00 17/12/2012- 16/08/2013


Office per month 2,750.00 17/08/2013-16/12/2013


 


Also...This Service Agreement does not automatically end. See section 4 Services continuation clause overleaf. The Agreement can not be terminated by the client during the initial service Agreement term.


 


Fine print


4.a


Servcorp gives at least one month's written notice to the client demending that it ceases its temporary occupation of the office on the date of expiration of the original term of this service agreement. or


4.b


The Client gives at least the required notice (as set out in the item 7 overleaf) to Servcorp IN WRITING to end temporary occupation on the date of expiration and not before the initial Term Ending Date:


This service agreement shall from that date of expiration continue as periodic Searvice agreement (as set out in item 7 overleaf) as a service fee which is appropriate at the time of such renewal as determined by Servcorp in its absolute discretion and notified by it to the client.


 


 


11.Notice


Any written notice required or authorized by this Service Agreement:


a. Shall be deemed to have been served on the Client if emailed , delivered to the Office or posted to the latest known address of the Client in the later case shall be deemed to have been served on the second working day after posting


b. Shall be deemed to have been served on Servcorp only if hand delivered or sent by registered post to Servcorp marked attention Manager.



If you were a consumer you could rely on the Unfair Terms
in Consumer Contracts regulations http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft311.pdf

in that the notice required in respect of the landlord giving it
to the tenant can be by email but not the other way round. That is unfair by anybody's imagination.

 

However you are a
business and therefore you do not have that protection.



It clearly says that notice must be hand-delivered or sent by
registered post however that is with regard to deemed service. If they actually
accepted that they had had notice because someone had read it, it doesn't
matter whether it is served in the correct format or not provided they have it.
However they do not accept it seems that they had it so in that respect, you
did not give them sufficient notice.



The fact that the print is small is immaterial provided it is
large enough and clear enough to be read by a normally sighted person with the
naked eye.



If that is not the case, they cannot rely on the small print.



I think you are bound to therefore for two months from when they
got the written notice not the email.



With regard to whether it carries on for a further 12 months,
there is nothing in the terms you have sent which says that. The initial term
ends on 16 December 2013.



Continuation is covered in section 4. It says you cannot
terminate during the initial term and the initial term ends on 16 December.



It then goes on to say 4B that from the date of expiration (16th
of December) it continues as a periodic service agreement with no mention of
any term because the initial term is quite clearly defined as ending in
December 2013 and from what you have sent me, there is no mention of any
subsequent terms ending on 16 December in each subsequent year.



On these facts therefore I think you could give notice now or
before 16 November to finish on 16 January which is the anniversary of the
month start.



Is there something which you haven't sent me which says that if
you don't give notice, it continues for another 12 months until December 2014?

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

4B states (last line):


This service agreement shall from that date of expiration continue as periodic Searvice agreement for a period equal to the term of the original term of the Service Agreement (as set out in item 7 overleaf), at a service fee which is appropriate at the time of such renewal as determined by Servcorp in its absolute discretion and notified by it to the client.


 


Here is what the agent stated in her email:


 


". Failure to provide the required notice has resulted in the lease being held over for a further 12 month period. The end date of the Rental Agreement is now 16 December 2014 (please refer to Holding Over clause 4(b) of the lease for further clarification)."


 


I am not sure if anything could be done but Section 13 talks about termination. May be you could see something we can do to end this agreement.


BTW the small print is less than 8 it is probably 6. You have to have 20/20 to be able to read it .


Section 13 termination


a.Servcorp may terminate this Service agreement by giving one month's


written notice to the Client at any time.


b.Servcorp shall have the right to withhold Services (including incoming and outgoing telefone calls and Client access to the Office and or re-enter the office without prior notice and shall have a general lien on all property of the Client physically situated on any premises of Servcorp or alternatively at Servcorp discretion continue this Service Agreement as periodic Service Agreement from month to month:


i. where the client has failed to pay for Accommodation or Services on the respective due dates;


or


ii.Where the client has brService Agreement and fails to remedy that breach within seven days of being requested by Servcorp to do so.



c.The client has breached any term of this Service Agreement and fails to remedy that breach within seven days of being requested by Servcorp to do so.


d.The client may remove its possessions and shall remove their signs provided that any damage or defacement occasional in the course of such removal shall be remedied by the client immediately and at their own expense.


If it fails to do so Servcorp may do so at client's expense.


e.Upon the termination or determination of this Service Agreement for any cause the client shall promptly and peacefully cease to occupy of the office and leave them in the condition and state of repair required by clause 7 of this Service Agreement, and at the same time hand over all keys and access cards.


f.At time of termination, fee (maximum fee will be two months list Accommodation Service) will be charged for administrative and office costs related to termination of the Service Agreement. This includes but is not limited to the administrative fees, termination of phone and internet connections and make good of the premises (e.g.painting, steam cleaning of carpet, furniture repair, and maintenance to common areas and floor equipment.)


Restoration will be carried out by Servcorp's nominated contractors and personnel . Servcorp may continue to charge accommodation services to the client for the time taken to restore/clean and will be charged at the rate applicable immediately prior to vacation.


g.If the client fails to demand the refund of the security deposit within 360 days after the date of termination of this Service Agreement, the security deposit shall be deemed forfeited to Servcorp absolutely.


h.At the time of termination the client, at servcorp's discretion, will be required to pay a call administration/handling fee equipment to the Platinum Virtual membership for period of 3 months from the date of termination. This membership endeavours to ensure a smooth transition for the client's business out of Servcorp.

Thank you.
I assume that you didn’t take any advice on this agreement before you signed it because it is extremely one-sided.
You can take issue with the small print but six point is probably quite acceptable in all honesty provided it is not printed in grey ink which I have actually seen on agreements to make it extremely difficult to read.
The words “for a period equal to the term of the original term of the service agreement” were missing in the original posting.
I would still argue that this is unfair if it went to court because under 13 they can give you notice at any time you are stuck with two months or 12 months in this case.
There is a practical difficulty for the landlord and that is that if you simply tell him to get lost and that he is getting two months notice and you are going to move out and he can like it or lump it he is faced with suing a company across the Atlantic which is generally not worth doing if the amount in question is under £15,000.
He can get a judgement in the UK court and enforce it in the United States but he is going to have to get an attorney in the United States to deal with that for him.
There is another issue to assist you and that is that the landlord is under a duty to mitigate his loss by attempting to get a new tenant and if he lets the property out within the next 12 months, the maximum damages/compensation he would get (if he went to court) would be the rent due until he re-let the property.
At this stage in time if negotiation fails, it really comes down to whether you want to have the argument about the full 12 months and whether the landlord is prepared to take you to court. If it went to court I think it highly likely the landlord would get some compensation but not a full 12 months.
Can I help further?
James Mather
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22,629
Experience: Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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