Our resolved cases
Lease agreement dispute case: a tenant client could settle the case in a short period
The client lived in an apartment for more than ten years and had never failed to pay monthly rent up to two months before. On the other hand, he could not make full payment for the renewal fee due a year before due to his sudden income decrease and he asked the landlord to wait for future payment in installments and paid a part of the past due balance of the renewal fee. The client, however, suddenly received a notice from a lawyer representing the landlord demanding his payment for the past due balance of the renewal fee and his failed rent payments for two months at once within two weeks. Being unable to understand well about the claim letter written in formal Japanese and receiving the notice just before his business trip for about two weeks, the client did nothing in response to the notice.
About a few weeks after he received the notice, the client received a complaint from a court. By the complaint, the landlord demanded him to make the same payment as the notice and the double rent in the future plus default interests as well as to vacate the apartment immediately. The landlord alleged that according to special clauses in the lease agreement, the landlord had rights to terminate the lease agreement without advance notice when the tenant failed to pay the rent for two months and to claim for double rent after the termination of the agreement. Being surprised at such sudden demands from the landlord, the client visited us for our advice about how to deal with the case.
The client was not aware of the alleged special clauses in the lease agreement and could not make full payment for the past due balance at once. But he was considering to relocate his residence to another place and wanted to make payment in installments for the past due balance of the renewal fee and the amount of regular monthly rent. Therefore, we prepared an answer brief to propose a settlement plan to make the past due balance in installments in exchange for his voluntary exit from the apartment shortly. At the same time, we challenged the effectiveness of the special clauses on account of the client's unawareness of such clauses due to lack of specific explanation from the landlord and his language skill as of the execution of the lease agreement more than ten years ago.
The landlord, as the plaintiff, immediately expressed its intention to agree to settle the case as the client proposed and the parties negotiated about the due date of the client's exit from the apartment and the number of installments and the amount of each payment. Consequently, the client could settle the case by an agreement in court on the third court date in about three months from his receipt of the complaint.