Holding deposit trouble - where do I stand?

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    Holding deposit trouble - where do I stand?

    Hi all,

    Just wondering if I can get some advice.

    Just a quick introduction for you to see where I am coming from.
    I have been in the same flat for 9 years (flat share). Just before Christmas I was given a 2 month notice by my current landlord; they have decided to refurbish the flat. Fair enough, it does really need some work done. I am taking this opportunity to make a big change and find a little place just for myself. I have to admit, I was excited at first but after a couple of weeks of looking at unreasonably overly priced places I got quite stressed and confused.

    I went to view a flat on Friday, 17 January evening. I liked it but wasn't entirely convinced. They mentioned the holding deposit but I can't really remember if they said it was non refundable etc.. The day after (my birthday!) I was a little down and panicked and called the agency and said I wanted to pay the holding deposit. They emailed me with just their account info and I transferred £500 to their account later on that day. I was told after confirmation of receipt (probably on the Monday as they are closed on Sunday) of my payment they would put the property off the market.

    After serious consideration I worked out that it was actually more than I wanted/should have/could have afforded and emailed them on the Sunday night and called them first thing on Monday asking them not to put the property off the market and asked for a refund hoping not to have caused too much inconvenience.

    Money has been taken from my account. I haven't signed anything. I called them a couple of times and emailed and they said holding deposits are non refundable. I am still trying to speak to the manager.

    I know it was my silly mistake and that I probably shot myself in the foot but £500 is a lot and would like some advice on what to do now. Have I got any rights? Can I recover my deposit in any way?

    Sorry about the very long message. Hope you will able to advice.

    Thank you

    #2
    On the whole holding deposits are not "non-refundable" - i.e. they are refundable. See this thread: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...d-for-security There needs to be clarity about what was agreed and the whole thing must not fall foul of consumer protection rules. What exactly, if anything, was said about the terms on which you paid the £500?

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