A lopsided tenancy agreement. What can you do? Part 3.
Upon signing (or even after having signed), only then you found out you have a lopsided tenancy agreement. What can you do?
1. You just accept the terms as lopsided and life goes on.
2. You do NOT sign the agreement.
Here, we deal with No.2 – if you do NOT sign the tenancy agreement.
Having come to this stage, most people have already paid in full the money to the agency firm. Is there still room for argument, amidst very limited?
As long as the agreement is not signed and stamped, it is not legal.
This is the law. However, most of the negotiated deals had come to completion. All conditions should have been fulfilled at this stage. Signing is just ceremonial.
Therefore, if there are reasons in contravention to S.14 – Free Consent, the lopsided tenancy agreement is voidable, even after it has been signed. As most of the payments had been made, and conditions were fulfilled, any disagreement becomes frustration or breach of the agreement.
Notwithstanding, what is discovered as misrepresented or mistake made, in the agreement will render the agreement voidable.
For example, if the agreement states that tenant is to pay for parking lot although during viewing, the agent indicated that the apartment comes with a free parking lot. This might be misrepresentation as in S.18 or mistake as in S.23 of the Contracts Act, 1950. Both will possibly make the tenancy contract voidable. The tenant can use this reason to challenge the tenancy contract. If found to be true, then all the damages plus what other claims by the tenant will be repaid to the tenant.
However, court proceedings might deter the tenant to do so as it is costly and time consuming.