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How binding is a verbal agreement??

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I took on a farm property...House and outbuildings 3 months ago. It was advertised as a going concern for equestrian use... Post rail paddocks, indoor riding arena,stables, house..

when I viewed the property it was clearly in disrepair but would be amazing when finished so I discussed the work involved with the landlord and they pointed out they were happy to pay for the work to be done...and for it to be done immediatly. I stressed without the facilities in full working order it was imposible to run a business there.

With 2 friends as witness I returned for otherviewings and to discuss the work to be carried out ... I offered to help with as much labour as I could manage.. eg cleaning and painting.

It was verbally agreed I could move in signing a Landlord and tenant act 1954 so I could move in straight away and a proper lease would be drawn up when work was completed.

I asked how much money they wanted off me for deposit ..rent .. this was declined and was told not to worry just start paying the rent when the work was completed ... estimated 2 months. This was witnessed by a friend.

First 2 weeks were brilliant ...electricians, plumbers builders were in the house and me and my friends were busy clearing the outbuildings with many trips to the tip !!

Then nothing...No arena, Faulty electrics, blocks drains and sewer and fleas in house !!!

Then after 4 weeks I was asked if I could give them some rent ... taken aback I gave them £1,500

Place now looks clean and tidy because of the work I have done but major work has still not been carried out.

4 weeks ago I started getting harrassed for the rent ...I pointed out the work has still not been completed ..said I was happy to pay if the money was used to carry out the repairs but the reply was they would not be able to be done for months.

They are now telling me they have changed their minds and if I pay them full rent they would get the work done... When asked if this could be done straight away as still not safe for riding school the reply I got was cannot say when it will be done.

I have since obtained a riding surface for the arena but the walls are still not safe for clients.

I am now being told (after all the work I have done) that they have changed their minds and they want me to leave because they have a better offer !!

Can they do this ? Where do I stand with all the free labour and arena.

Thank you for reading this far...

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To answer the question of the title of the thread...a verbal agreement is as binding as a written one, just less provable.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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As a slightly lengthier answer...I think in this specific case you really need to speak to a lawyer.

 

It is not clear whether the tenancy is commercial or residential, and commercial lets (which I suspect this is) are a potential minefield.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Can she tell me to be out by Thursday ... 3 days notice verbally ??

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That would depend on the terms of the contract.....which obviously are a tad tricky here.

 

As it is under the LTA 1954 sounds like a commercial let to me. With this in mind I would reiterate my advice to speak to a legal professional. You do not have the same security of tenure that you would have under a residential tenancy.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Or, wot he said :) second the idea to post on LLZ!


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Does it help that I pay residential council tax not commercial ??

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I'm not so sure WG - clearly there is a residential property involved, but that is not the only property involved here.

 

Due to the mixed use of the land, I would not like to state that this is residential tenancy 100%.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Thank you have posted on landlordzone too

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Please let us know how you get on, I would be very interested to see how this pans out.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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To answer the question of the title of the thread...a verbal agreement is as binding as a written one, just less provable.

 

I agree

 

Do you have anything in writing ?, i.e. any emails, letters etc, or is this just word of mouth. Will your friends back you up in court if it comes to that ? which I expect it will. How was the property advertised, do you have a copy you could show us ?

 

Also, if you have been there three months, have you ever signed a lease agreement ??

 

This really is a bit of a minefield but don't be intimidated into moving out, it sounds like you have kept your end of the agreement.

 

Lex

Edited by Mr lex

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Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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