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QLD Commercial Tenancy Agreement - Pay Undercharged Invoice?

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by olly, 31 July 2014.

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  1. olly

    olly Member

    31 July 2014
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    Hi, I have been renting a room for business purposes ( commercial lease) since January 2014. I get monthly invoices which I pay and get receipts for. I have now just received a phone call and invoice as the company I rent the room off have been apparently undercharging me each month. They can not locate a copy of the tenancy agreement dated January but they recently sent through another tenancy agreement which I signed and sent back to them. It was within half an hour of receiving this newly signed agreement that they contacted me to inform me of their mistake and tell me that I owe them the money. They are now stating that I am liable to pay the sum of $4,800 that they undercharged me. Do I have to pay this even though they made the mistake. I simply paid each invoice as they sent it. The new agreement does say that the tenancy commenced on 6th Jan but it was signed by me on 30th July. Can anyone help with where I stand under contract law? Thanks in advance.
  2. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

    16 July 2014
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    Hi Olly

    I think the first step here is to confirm the terms of the original tenancy agreement you signed. If you definitely do not have a copy of the agreement, and the landlord continues to maintain they do not either, then do you have any emails or other correspondence in which you discussed or agreed on the rental?

    Your liability to pay the alleged undercharged amount very much depends on that original agreement. If the landlord had in fact undercharged as per the terms of the original agreement, then they do have a legal right to claim that money as it remains owed under the contract. Even though they made the mistake and charged the wrong amount and allowed you to remain in the premises, this does not, unfortunately, constitute a variation of the contract or a waiver in any way of your obligations to pay the full amount. The law allows the landlord to correct a mistake made in contract.

    It does further complicate things that they sent through an additional tenancy agreement, as you have no records to confirm it is on the same terms as the original agreement you signed.

    If I were you, I would contact the landlord and state that they need to produce evidence of the original tenancy agreement to confirm the rent was being undercharged, as they cannot backdate a new agreement they've asked you to sign and be using that as evidence of you being undercharged.

    That puts the onus on the landlord to prove you were undercharged pursuant to the agreement that was in place at that time. Without that evidence, then I'd be trying to argue against paying it.

    Let me know how you go.

    olly likes this.

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