We have the expertise to draft Tenancy Agreements. These agreements could be for residential or commercial properties and we have acted for both landlords and tenants.
However, Property disputes often arise when the two parties involved in a Tenancy Agreement, the Landlord and the Tenant, cannot see eye to eye. Disputes also occur when joint owners have differences of opinions when it comes to the sale of a joint property, or regarding matters of “change of use”, renovation of a property or a multitude of issues that require a resolution.
We have acted for tenants against their landlord for failing to provide what was agreed in the Tenancy Agreement or the landlord who had unreasonably withheld the tenant’s deposit at the end of the lease.
Similarly, we have successfully acted on behalf of landlords against their tenants who have failed to honour their rental payments, as well as obtaining the necessary court orders to evict errant tenants who have violated their Tenancy Agreements by not paying rental.
A license constitutes a special permission to do something on, or with somebody else’s property which, if not for the license could be legally prevented or give rise to legal action in tort or trespass.
The licensee has no rights to assign the premises to a third party, nor is he able to sue trespassers or any persons for nuisance.
The Tenancy Agreement or Lease
A tenancy agreement or Lease Agreement is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant whereby the landlord has agreed to grant the tenant exclusive temporary ownership rights over a premises for an agreed sum of rent.
Tenancy agreements are set up at the beginning of a tenancy period and lists out the terms and conditions of the tenancy as well as responsibilities of both parties in order to avoid potential disputes. The Landlord and the Tenant are able to negotiate these terms before they enter into an agreement.
The agreement stipulates that the landlord must provide for terms that allow for the effective use of his premises and allows the tenant to occupy the premises freely and without external intrusions.
The onus of a tenancy agreement is not all on the landlord. The tenant also has contractual obligations he needs to fulfil. In order to effect the tenancy agreement, he needs to pay the agreed amount of rent on a timely fashion as stipulated in the agreement. He may also agree not to assign the lease to another individual or entity and to bear costs of any repairs that may occur during the duration of his tenancy.
Terminating the tenancy
Either the landlord or the tenant may be able to terminate the agreement by giving notice to the other party within an appropriate period of time. This duration would have been agreed upon by both parties when the agreement was first drafted.
Typically, most Tenancy Agreement is for a fixed period and there is no termination clause.
As a tenant, you need to inform your landlord of your decision to end the agreement prematurely and obtain his consent. In such cases, a landlord may demand monetary compensation for the early termination of the contract.
Failure to pay rent would constitute a breach of the tenancy agreement, in which case a landlord has the legal right to forfeit the agreement and re-enter the premises to evict his tenant.
Typically, a landlord will effect forfeiture should the tenant constantly fail to pay rent despite numerous opportunities to do so. This means the landlord can either peaceably enter the premise on his own, or apply to the court to formally demand that his tenant exit the premises.
If his tenant refuses to submit to the demands, then the landlord has recourse to begin legal proceedings by having his solicitor issue a writ of summons for possession.