Tip of the Week: Right if it's in Writing - DAC Beachcroft

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Tip of the Week: Right if it's in Writing

Published On: 11 May 2015

Transactions often have many twists and turns.

If after exchange of an agreement for lease you find the parties wish to make a change to the agreed terms, however minor, resist the urge to rely on a conversation, or merely to exchange emails, with the prospective tenant in order to effect a variation of the terms of the agreement.

Under section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, a contract "for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land" (which includes an agreement or option for a lease) must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Incorporate all the terms that the parties have expressly agreed in one document, or where contracts are to be exchanged in each document; and
  • Be signed by or on behalf of each party.

Failure to comply with these provisions in relation to any variation to an agreement may mean that you have no contract with your tenant at all!

As with many things, it's easy to comply with these requirements if you know how. So if you are in this situation please get in touch with us and we can ensure that you follow the right rules.