Expat from the U.S./ What are my rights?

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    Expat from the U.S./ What are my rights?


    I recently moved over from the U.S. and I’m confused on the practices on renting flats here. Well I found a letting agent company online. When i met them in person, the properties I saw looked nice, so I paid a deposit, which they said will be kept in a secure place- i think it’s called a TDS?

    When I arrived, the place was not as described, so I chose another one. I asked to view the property in person and the letting agent said that the flat has been renovated and these are new pictures. He then told me I should pay the deposit and the first months rent because places get rented fast. So I did.
    Now, I’m feeling uneasy, because I’m learning that this is not normal to do so here, yet I’m confused on why the letting agent would tell me that this is how it works!

    I have not signed a Tenancy agreement and I told the agent last night that I have to view the property before moving in.
    If the place is not as described, what are my rights to get my money back? Am I entitled to any refund. Are there companies that will help me if the letting agent refuses?

    There are two types of deposit - a holding deposit, which is intended to show you're serious and is intended to remove the property from other advertising (basically giving you first refusal) and a tenancy deposit which is security for any damage done while renting.

    The second type is only normally paid when the tenancy begins (and is your money, so the landlord has to secure it in a government approved scheme by law - which is where someone like the TDS comes in).

    Normally you wouldn't pay anything without viewing the actual place you plan to rent and seeing (and signing) a tenancy agreement.

    In paces of high demand (London for example) there's often some corner cutting because if you don't want to cut corners, there's someone next in the queue who will.
    But if you see somewhere you like, you can almost certainly sign up for it immediately (there might be issues with getting credit checked, but that's usually quite quick as well).
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


      There is no legal requirement to a written agreement or signature for tenancies with an initial term of less than three years, The tenancy will be formed when you actually move in.

      If a tenancy is formed, you may still be able to seek compensation for misrepresentation, but it will be almost impossible without something in writing. That would be under contract law. Breaking the tenancy agreement, and therefore the duty to pay rent, is not normally possible, just because it is not as described.


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