Landlord refusing to give back my deposit and one month rent?(no contract signed)

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  • Landlord refusing to give back my deposit and one month rent?(no contract signed)

    Hello,

    I have spoken to Citizen advice bureau and Shelter and they did give me advice but not much in depth.
    I paid my landlord deposit and one moths rent they pressured me to sign and transfer the money because I had uni soon I was already under a lot stress and her doing that didn't help. however I transferred the money but didn't sign the contract and informed her ill read it after and 2 and a half hours I messaged her telling her I want a refund because I didn't agree with the contract she ignored me since few days later contacted me then told me to email her and is refusing to refund my money and said we made the agreement but if we made an agreement why I never received the keys if I was suppose to move in and she never messaged me about moving in. she has said she "refused other tenants" which is false because I saw my room ad up on a website and yet she still hasn't replied to me about it even though I sent her few emails to her.

    If you need any more information and are able to help me please add the input.

    Im trying to be as brief as I can.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    The payment of a deposit and advance rent is very strong evidence of you having reached an agreement to enter into a tenancy. What advice have CAB & Shelter given?

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    • #3
      CAB have said that the same thing that transferring the money is an agreement even if I didn't sign it but they didn't know anything. However shelter said theres no yes or no answer it all depends on the evidence theres no specific law for that type of situation.I believe the only evidence she has is the money transferred . If she says we made an agreement why she hasn't contacted me to give me keys and to move in she has been ignoring me pretty much.

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      • #4
        If you told me that you didn't agree with the conditions of the tenancy agreement, I'd be pretty unlikely to give you the keys to one of my properties, either. Were the conditions unusual? A LL will suffer financial loss if you breach an agreement to take a tenancy - but you can have no security of tenure if you don't go into occupation.

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        • #5
          even me before telling her that I don't agree with it she avoided me so if she saved the room for me as she claimed why didn't she try to meet and give it to me and I saw an ad of the room the other day if she "saved it" for me why is she advertising it. and why she is avoiding me . it was extra hidden costs and she has said the rent included everything which is clearly a lie. I don't think theres an agreement to be made because she is not responding to me, however that plays in my favour in court.

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          • #6
            Whilst no T can exist if you did not have means to occupy, there is clear evidence (payment of deposit) you agreed to a Contract to supply/occupy. The LL is entitled to some recompense if you decline the offer, once made, provided they mitigate their loss by re-advertising the property asap.

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            • #7
              The reason I changed my mind because she was false advertising . what she told me what was included in the price it wasn't ..once I read the contract . even the next day she raised the price which shows what she is doing. even if she is entitled to some. she refuses to give back any and is not responding.
              Also I informed her two and a half hours after sending the money so she the one who made it more difficult and purposely made this process longer .
              Also her readversiting proves that she didn't refuse other tenants as she claims. will that not look good in court?

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              • #8
                An offer was made and Consideration paid to seal the Contract, from which you later reneged.
                LL re-advertised the Property as she was required to do.
                Declining other Ts gave you the opportunity to accept Terms & occupy.
                What proof do you have she rejected poss subs Ts?
                Unless LL posts on this thread, we have half the story.
                I doubt the LL can claim more than 1 rental period
                .
                Moral -read everything BEFORE accepting.

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                • #9
                  A thought...
                  ...unless the deposit was given in good faith [pressured on time] on the firm understanding that the contract when reviewed would be agreeable and therefore the deposit was only being paid based on signing the contract later.
                  Would this change matters?

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                  • #10
                    I think it's quite poor on the LL's side to keep all the money. Like Mariner says, how can she rightfully claim she's lost more than one month's rent?

                    Either there's a part to the story that we're missing, or she's trying to pull a fast one.

                    One thing that is not clear is how much the deposit was and how much one month's rent is. If you're talking about less than £1000 in total, it's probably best for you to just forget it (though it's incredibly hard to do). £1000 may sound like a lot to a student, but in the long term it's peanuts.

                    A decent strategy might be to call her and say "look, ok, there was a misunderstanding, you lost out a little... I appreciate that. So, you keep one month's rent, but give me my deposit back". If she refuses, you can threaten some legal action (which will be a bluff unless you're willing to spend more than the money you want back).

                    I've heard of lawyer's offices that'll send a letter on your behalf for a small sum of money (£50). I know they do it for businesses, not sure for individuals. I think they were called Lovetts or something like that? If she gets a letter from a legal firm, she'll probably want to cut a deal.

                    Good luck either way.



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                    • #11
                      Landlord1206,

                      thats what happened I was pressured I even have proof for everything when we texted for instance I asked her for next day to decide if I wanted the place and she was like it has to be 10 by today which put me under a lot of stress and under a spot

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                      • #12
                        Shant,

                        it was bit over £1000 because I saved up money . She is ignoring me and not responding at all even not through e-mail that she gave me,
                        She is pulling a fast one thats why its frustrating me because I know what she is doing is unfair and she thinks she can get away with it. for all I care she could keep the "few days" rent even though I know she ignored me on purpose and didn't read the texts for that reason.but she's not giving me any of my money.

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                        • #13
                          So Trading Standards or sue her for deposit amount in SCC!

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                          • #14
                            I know its a silly question but is it considered illegal to withhold the deposit?

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                            • #15
                              From the sound of it, you have entered into a contract and you have subsequently breached the contract (by not signing the agreement or moving in).

                              However, the landlord is a) required to mitigate their losses to keep them to a minimum, and b) is only entitled to compensation for what they actually lost as a consequence.

                              They can't simply decide what they think of as a figure and decide to keep the money.
                              So I'd send them a letter before action demanding the money back (and mentioning the false advertising) and then sue the agent/landlord through the small claims court.
                              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).

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