Letting Agency withholding 'holding deposit'

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    Letting Agency withholding 'holding deposit'

    Please help!

    I suspect I will not be able to do anything but I will stay angry at myself if I don't at least try getting my holding deposit back.

    A few months ago myself and partner started looking for our own place to rent as we are currently in a shared house. We banked on moving out this month but wanted to get an idea of what we could get for our money so started looking.

    We contacted a well known lettings agency (not sure if I am allowed to say who?) as we saw a few properties online that we wanted to know about and view as there was the option that for the right place, we could move out any time we wanted.

    A girl showed us 3, and although we had said ideally we will be wanting to move in June (I think this happened in march) she was very persistent in getting us to sign up for each one we saw. The following day we called to ask a bit more about one but it apparently had gone. However, 'luckily' for us a new one had just come up...but it was £100 more PCM than we had said was our limit. She was very insistent we at least look-it couldn't hurt.

    It was a stunning place and again she was very persistent about when we could pay the deposit. I said I'd have to think about it. A couple days went by and she called asking for my decision. She made it sound like literally I couldn't have it unless I said right then I wanted it. She asked for my card details! I declined as luckily I didn't have it with me (I actually felt like I owed this woman the money like a bill I hadn't paid!) I managed to get off the phone only by saying I would bring cash to the office later. She said make sure you're here by 8 or you will lose it (the property) I stupidly stupidly went along with my partner just before closing and handed over £300. I remember signing something (definetly wasn't a contract) and I don't recall 100%getting a receipt. Btw, my partner and I decided to go for the property as well because it allowed pets which is soooo hard to find and we could afford it (just) as soon as we left I felt sick. I knew it was a huge mistake and long term we wouldn't be able to afford the rent. My partner realised this aswell so we decided not to go ahead.

    We paid the deposit just before close on a Friday. I called Monday morning and said I Couldn't go further with the property and as we have called you the next working day (so in our eyes nothing had been done because of this)please could we have our money back. The same girl was really abrupt and she wasn't letting go. She had no argument except saying that it was just simply non refundable. I said no one had lost out on anything because we called you the next working day. She snapped back "well we are open Saturday's " I didn't know this and when has anything been able to be done on a weekend. Businesses always say, call back monday! The other point I said was that nothing had been done for that money apart from show us a couple of properties. She said the landlord will be very angry because it was taken off the market at the busiest time of the week and potentially lost a new tenant. but we looked on Saturday and it was still online, nothing to say it had been let or was under negotiations or anything. Sign posted still outside the house. No 'admin' had been done because it hadn't been long enough for that to happen! I managed to get her to say she will 'hold' the holding deposit for me until we are ready to move (which i found bizzarr) and I have that in writing.

    But since then we are now about to move into a house that my partners parents have bought and so will not need their letting agency. it doesn't seem right that they did nothing for that money and I'm out of pocket especially using her bully tattics=[ shortly after this happened, I had an interview at another big lettings/sales agency and somehow my experience got brought up and even the boss said he's sure they can't keep it, or maybe not all of it but couldn't help more as he was sales.In a way I wish I had taken the job so I would get some inside knowledge haha! I might go back to him depending on what advice you lovely people can give me =]

    Many thanks in advance

    Originally posted by Lisa_g View Post
    We contacted a well known lettings agency (not sure if I am allowed to say who?)
    No, not a good idea.
    I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating


      Chances are it is non-refundable, as most holding deposits are.

      That said, your first step should be to obtain a receipt to see exactly what it is you signed.


        The OFT hate the use of the phrase non-refundable for deposits.

        I would seek their advice first!


          One of our legally qualified members wrote this very useful thread about just this subject.


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