BREACH OF CONTRACT

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IN THE EVENT OF A BREACH OF CONTRACT, FOR THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY

What should you do in the event of a breach of contract, for the sale of the property

Sometimes, it happens that the home that was leased to you is put up for sale before your lease ends. In this case, good communication with the owner of the property is important, so that they can reach a mutual agreement, and in the best terms, to a solution that favours both of them.

Metrocuadrado.com spoke with two experts to inform us what is the best way to solve a circumstance like this and clarify the most common doubts around this scenario.

What should you keep in mind when showing the property?

If the house is for sale, it is logical that the owner will need to show it. In this case, you must agree on the most appropriate days and times for this. Take into account your activities and those of your family, so that it does not become an obligation or a pressure and it will not affect the relationship with your landlord.

In the case at any time you cannot show the house, try to set another date or time. Remember that you should not give the keys to the house to anyone. Although the property is not your property, the things that are inside it are.

On this issue, the lawyer Eduardo Tuatara Prieto de Vargas & Vargas Avocados, assures that neither the owner nor the landlord, can demand from the tenant the keys to the leased property, even if such a situation has been stipulated in the lease. Similarly, for Concepción Farman, a private lawyer: “It is not prudent or legal for the owner to invade the tenant’s privacy. The right thing to do is to terminate the lease and compensate the tenant.”

“The landlord has the legal and constitutional obligation to guarantee the right of use and enjoyment of the leased property and the fundamental right to family and personal privacy, as indicated by the Constitutional Court in its ruling C-640 of 2010. In guarantee of the aforementioned fundamental right, without prejudice to the express agreement or the fulfilment or non-fulfilment of the obligations of the parties, the lessee is not obliged to allow the owner or any other person to enter the leased property “, affirms Tuatara Prieto.

Time to vacate the property

As a general rule, the time in which a tenant must vacate a property is three (3) months from the date the landlord notifies him of his decision to terminate the lease. According to what Farman expresses, once these obligations are fulfilled by the landlord, the tenant is obliged to restore the property.

“This term applies in the event of termination of the contract without just cause, and when any of the 3 assumptions of article 22 of Law 820 of 2003 are met (within which the sale of the property is found), however when the contract ends for just cause or by mutual agreement, the term may be different ”adds Tuatara Prieto. 

Indemnification of law for termination without just cause

Tuatara, adds that if the landlord decides to unilaterally terminate the lease, for the reasons provided in numbers 1 to 7 of article 22 of Law 820 of 2003, prior written notice addressed to the tenant through the authorized postal service, no less than three (3) months in advance, you must make an indemnity payment equivalent to the price of three (3) months of lease.

In the event of termination of the contract, the law stipulates the payment of compensation. Unless it is for the reasons expressed in numeral 8, of article 22 of Law 820 of 2003, which are:

– Demolition of the property.

– Delivery for a sale.

– When the landlord is going to occupy the property for himself.

In some lease contracts there is a clause, the cancellation of a penalty in case of non-compliance by any of the parties, in this sense Tuatara Prieto assures that this is mandatory and if the compliant party demands it from the non-compliant party, Either directly or through a declaratory action, it must pay it.

However, “there is a general principle of law that establishes that ‘things are undone as they are done, in that sense if the parties wish by mutual agreement to nullify the penal clause or even reduce its value, it is completely valid and permitted”.

Can the tenant terminate the contract, if the owner of the property communicates the intention to sell, demands to visit the property, but does not deliver the termination letter?

For Concepción Farman, the tenant can make a reasoned letter to terminate the lease, due to a breach of it. Taking into account that the landlord unilaterally decided to put the property up for sale, without counting on the tenant. By violating the contract, the tenant can request its termination and request a fee for a 3-month lease.

The best way to solve these cases

Based on the previous points, the main recommendation is to have good communication with the owner of the property, leave all decisions made in writing and make sure that they adhere to the law.

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