A lopsided tenancy agreement. What can you do? Part 4.
When you are faced with a lopsided tenancy agreement, and you have paid all the monies, you still can do one more thing.
Until and unless you have signed the contract, it is still not completed. The agency firm cannot claim its fees from the principal – landlord. A way to negotiate your deals is to hold this agency at fault. This means that you are holding this agent or negotiator responsible for the wrong you are now facing – a lopsided contract.
In a contractual relationship, you are a party to the contract and the landlord is another. Both parties should have a direct exchange of mind. Even with the engagement of an agent, both sides should have full awareness of the terms of the contract. The contract terms should be explained to and accepted by both parties (landlord and tenant).
Now, here comes the tricky part. The contract is between the parties signing the contract and should be written by either landlord or tenant, modified or corrected and subsequently accepted by both. If this contract had never been shown to you as a tenant, and you have never read (until the last moment of vacant possession), you can say you never wrote it or read it. It is not your agreeable contract. You can ask back the agent, who wrote this contract?
If the agent says:
I wrote this contract! It was agreed by landlord and it is standard in practice. Now, you need to agree as well!
Over and above, if he charges a fee for writing this contract you please retain the receipt. Go to the Board and report this to the authority. An estate agent cannot write legal contracts for clients.
Only a legal trained person can do this. He is in contravention of the Legal Profession Act, as below:
Legal Profession Act 1976.
Section 37 of the Act prohibits unauthorised persons from acting as solicitor or advocate and disallows them from preparing documents related to any legal proceedings.
As you are party to the contract you have all the rights not to agree to terms which are unacceptable. A valid contract is one with free consent as in S.14 Contracts Act, 1950, not being forced. Any influence upon you to accept the contract is called “undue influence” as in S.16 CA50, and it can also make the contract voidable.
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2015/07/13/diylaw-kicks-off-in-august-lawyer-this-will-allow-people-to-draft-their-own-documents/#Iyu4M2xRwhHiIkZc.99