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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Property Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1730
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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I am the guarantor lease agreement. This had a six month

Customer Question

I am the guarantor for a lease agreement. This had a six month break clause but after a few months the tenant and the landlord agreed verbally that this could be be terminated earlier. The tenant has a handicapped child and the property was not suitable. They agreed a departure date which tied in with the date the landlord had said his new tenant was moving in and the person I am guarantor for accordingly made plans to move in elsewhere. After she has signed the other contract the old landlord informed her that his new tenancy was not commencing until later and that she would be liable for the rent in any void period until the six month break clause as included in the lease.
Surely this can not be seen to be fair and the verbal agreement should supersede the explicit clause in the lease. The lease does say "Strictly with the landlord’s or his agents prior written consent and subject to certain conditions that may include the landlord’s reasonable costs associated with the re-letting of the premises, the tenant might be allowed to surrender or give up this tenancy before it could otherwise lawfully be ended." The tenant did not agree the new termination date in writing. Notwithstanding this there is circumstantial evidence to show that the early date was planned.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Did you have confirmation in writing that it was agreed the tenancy would end on a set date?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No the tenant did not have this in writing - this was explained in my original query. I am focusing this on myunderstanding that explicit terms in a written contract can be overridden by a subsequent agreement even if that is not evidenced in writing. There have been a number of landmark court rulings to provide the legal precedent for this. The courts have ruled that it is possible to establish on the balance of probabilities that the parties by their oral agreement and/or conduct have varied the basis of their contractual dealings, and have effectively overridden a written clause excluding any unwritten modification. Such a situation might well arise in circumstances where, as in the present case, there are effectively only two individuals negotiating a variation to the terms of a written agreement.In the case of this lease agreement there does not seem to be any entire agreement clause but the lease does permit variations to the term if agreed between the parties in writing. However even though there was no agreement in writing I am hoping to rely on Energy Venture Partners Ltd v Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd [2013] EWHC 2118 (Comm). Here the court ruled that an implied oral agreement, first arising after entry into the relevant written contract, took effect as a valid variation to that contract, notwithstanding the existence of an entire agreement clause which provided, among other things, that “no additions, amendment to or modifications of this Agreement shall be effective unless it is in writing duly signed on behalf of the parties.”
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
My colleague has opted out of this question. I would be pleased to assist you with the same. I am assuming from the contents of your question that this is a residential tenancy rather than a commercial tenancy please?
What evidence besides the tenants own statement does the tenant have to support her claim that the landlord agreed to the early vacation of the tenancy? Presumably there is reference to the signing of the new tenancy agreement which she could say she would not have done had she not understood that she would be released from the earlier tenancy at the same time.

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