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QLD Rental Lease - Renegotiate Lease Agreement under Property Law?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Footer, 2 December 2015.

  1. Footer

    Footer Member

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    I have been renting for a couple of years in the same property and was told by the agent that the property was on solar rebate and that electricity was minimal to insignificant. The Landlord is the holder of the electricity account and thus, he receives the rebate and tenants are to pay for the difference. This is not such a problem, as we are prepared to pay for our costs, however, we had not received an electricity bill in 24 months and assumed our consumption was being absorbed by the rebate. We renewed our lease last week and then all of a sudden received 24 months worth of electricity bills 5 days later.

    I have concerns from a contractual position as had we known of the costs of electricity (even though we asked the agent on several occasion over the previous 2 years for costs), we would not have signed the lease or at least negotiated the lease downwards as costs of electricity are much higher than described and we are paying above market rate for the property.

    My question is, would it be correct to assume that we did not have all the facts presented before we signed the lease and, therefore, can re-negotiate the lease now that all facts have been presented under Property Law?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    You may be able to rely on the legal principle of "mistake". Under Australian contract law a "mistake" is an erroneous belief, at the time of contracting, that certain facts are true. If raised successfully, it can lead to the contract being found void.
     
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  3. Footer

    Footer Member

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    Hi Sophie, Thank you very much for that principle. Very helpful.
     

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