Mr Medved

Negotiating a dispute over a lease agreement

10 posts in this topic

At the beginning of the year I craftily negotiated a term in my lease where the owner was to mow our lawns once every three months.

Since then the agents have changed and the lawns haven't been mowed. I spoke with the agent about this and was told the owner never agreed to this term in the lease (either the owner or the previous agents are dodgy lying pricks). It looks like I'll either take court action or negotiate a change to the lease. As I don't like the court system I intend to negotiate (it also makes it a little more awkward if we want to renew the lease if we drag the owner through the court system).

So now I need to deftly negotiate a change to the lease agreement. My goal is to get a 12 month extension to the lease at the current weekly rent (no increase). The tricky thing is I don't want to look 'needy' in a lease extension as I may lose the upper hand, and I have the impression for a number of reasons that the owner is a tight arse.

Any thoughts on how to approach this?

I was considering offering to take on lawn maintenance on the basis of no rent increase for an additional 12 months, plus a concession to allow me to pull out some grass to plant a vegie patch... but if I give the indication that I want to extend the lease it may be seen as a sign of weakness and the owner will play hard ball. The stick I have is court action but I'd rather not wave that around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the beginning of the year I craftily negotiated a term in my lease where the owner was to mow our lawns once every three months.

Was this term in writing?

You should have a copy of the lease?

If so, if it is signed by the current owner it is still valid.

If its not in writing then you don't have a case.

Is this all because you want the landlord to mow the lawn?

Or is there some other reason why the landlord wouldn't possibly renew?

Have you made an issue of it, and now have to back peddle?

I think you may have to go cap in hand.

Eat a little humble pie - however terrible it tastes - and beg perhaps.

I wish I could help you more Med, but I seriously think your landlord has the upper hand in this negotiation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but I seriously think your landlord has the upper hand in this negotiation.

A verbal contract which has been acted on in the past carries quite a bit of weight. If the landlord in the past has been performing the lawn mowing then I suspect he would need to provide an alternate explanation to Med's. Otherwise it would appear to me that they have a verbal contract at a minimum. A verbal contract is still a contract in many situations.

IANAL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was this term in writing?

It's in writing - signed contract.

My dilemma is trying to leverage this matter to get a lease extension with no rent increase for another 12 months (without pissing off the owner, who is a tight arse).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[/size]

It's in writing - signed contract.

My dilemma is trying to leverage this matter to get a lease extension with no rent increase for another 12 months (without pissing off the owner, who is a tight arse).

If the landlord has signed the agreement then you have a case. It can't work out at more than a few hundred bucks? I would get a quote for the mowing costs and ask for that amount to be subtracted from the annual rent. If you're good tenants that pay on time and aren't wrecking the joint then I can't see why the landlord would be upset? It's just business. He/she would lose as well if you move out over a piddling squabble over a few bucks. Continual occupancy rather than the risk of vacancy and possibly getting bad tenants should convince even the most tight arse landlord. You need to convince him/her that it is in his/her interests. I wouldn't pull out the stick initially. You also need to consider your own interests. Costs of moving and hassle etc. Good luck. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[/size]

It's in writing - signed contract.

My dilemma is trying to leverage this matter to get a lease extension with no rent increase for another 12 months (without pissing off the owner, who is a tight arse).

These situations can be difficult. Enforce your contractual rights and potentially face recrimination, or do nothing and curse yourself?

The lawns have been mowed in accordance with the contract up until now? Sounds like the new agent is the catalyst/problem.

Take it one step at a time. First a letter/email to the agent....

Dear scumbag agent (I suggest you use their name rather than scumbag),

We enjoy living in this property. As per the attached residential agreement, lawn maintenance every three months is included in the rent. We note that the lawn mow is three (or whatever) weeks overdue. Can you advise when the lawns are likely to be mowed.

love and kisses evil tenant.

------------------------------------------------------

then see what you get back and then respond to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These situations can be difficult. Enforce your contractual rights and potentially face recrimination, or do nothing and curse yourself?

The lawns have been mowed in accordance with the contract up until now? Sounds like the new agent is the catalyst/problem.

Take it one step at a time. First a letter/email to the agent....

Dear scumbag agent (I suggest you use their name rather than scumbag),

We enjoy living in this property. As per the attached residential agreement, lawn maintenance every three months is included in the rent. We note that the lawn mow is three (or whatever) weeks overdue. Can you advise when the lawns are likely to be mowed.

love and kisses evil tenant.

------------------------------------------------------

then see what you get back and then respond to it.

:laugh:

Dear Darling Fascist bullyboy...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As per clowns post you might like to include some quotes for mowing in your letter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've already spoken with the agent on the phone and said I'm willing to negotiate. They've got a gardener to quote on the mowing cost, so I won't need to write a letter (at this stage).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now