Is an email to agree to rent a property legally binding?

I have changed my mind to rent a berth I own for a boat via a broker, as I have sold it privately.

The broker emailed me with details for renting from April 1st. I send an email to agree. Five days later before I had received a contract I emailed to say I had sold the berth and therefore would not proceed to rent it for a year. Is there any come back please as the broker is asking for compensation? That day he received a deposit from his client.

Please advise.

22 viewscommercial law

Alasdair Taylor's Answer

I don’t think there is enough information to be confident of the answer here.

On the hand, it could be an unenforceable “agreement to agree”; on the other, it could be an enforceable contract. A lawyer would want (amongst other things) to discuss the surrounding circumstances and look at the chain of communications before advising.

For background (NB from a US lawyer), see: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=2a81495f-8ade-4a49-a98d-5d8d472993ae

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