Cancelling tenancy before anything is signed?

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    Cancelling tenancy before anything is signed?

    Morning all,

    I have recently advertised my property to rent and found a tenant and agreed to let them live there subject to referencing. Nothing has been signed, no holding deposit has been taken but reference checks are currently being carried out. I have now changed my mind on them as they sent me an email being very demanding and I'm getting a bad vibe from them now. Am I legally able to just say no to them now as nothing other than an agreement via text message has been done?

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    If you've agreed to let to them "subject to referencing", you have made some kind of agreement.

    In reality, if you decide not to let to them, even if you have broken the agreement (which you technically might be doing), there's nothing they can actually do about it.

    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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      #3
      They just gave themselves a 'bad reference', didn't they?

      Comment


        #4
        It depends what you mean by "agreed to let them live there". Writing is not needed to create an agreement to let property for three years or less, so there is no need to consider whether text messages are writing. However, the text messages may be evidence of agreement.. For there to be an agreement the basic terms (i.e. property, length of term and rent) need to have been settled and there has to have been a series of events which amount to offer and acceptance. If those are present there will be a contract, even if it is conditional. How much is set out in texts and what do they say?

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          #5
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          It depends what you mean by "agreed to let them live there". Writing is not needed to create an agreement to let property for three years or less, so there is no need to consider whether text messages are writing. However, the text messages may be evidence of agreement.. For there to be an agreement the basic terms (i.e. property, length of term and rent) need to have been settled and there has to have been a series of events which amount to offer and acceptance. If those are present there will be a contract, even if it is conditional. How much is set out in texts and what do they say?
          So far the texts read as this -

          Potential tenant -
          To finalise, best and final offer is £795 per calendar month with a move in date of next Saturday. I do appreciate your situation and so I hope we can move forward on this basis.

          my reply -
          I can work with that so yes I accept that offer subject to referencing which I'm sure won't be a problem. I'll send over a tenancy application form along with the tenancy agreement for you to read over.

          This is really the bulk of what has been agreed. Since then it's just been about check in/inventory time/date etc

          Comment


            #6
            Clear case of offer and acceptance. There is a contract subject only to references being satisfactory.

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              #7
              Even though nothing has actually been signed?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Sam87 View Post
                Even though nothing has actually been signed?
                Yes. Signing something just makes the agreement more formal.

                Don't go ahead.
                You'll break the agreement you made, but there's nothing the hopeful tenants can do about it.
                In theory they can sue you for compensation for any loss they suffer, but there shouldn't be any.
                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).

                Comment


                  #9
                  I feel like if there's nothing they can do about it then it's not a problem.

                  Just out of interest how would you guys feel if a tenant sent you an email telling you how to be a landlord and attaching documents explaining it all. I find it very insulting given they have no experience themselves. This coupled with a list of demands just got my back up

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Sam87 View Post
                    I feel like if there's nothing they can do about it then it's not a problem.

                    Just out of interest how would you guys feel if a tenant sent you an email telling you how to be a landlord and attaching documents explaining it all. I find it very insulting given they have no experience themselves. This coupled with a list of demands just got my back up
                    I'd tell him to jog on also.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If there's anything that makes you feel uncomfortable about a tenant, I'd not go ahead.

                      That does sound like an odd thing for a tenant to do.
                      I can see why it might put you out.
                      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).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                        In theory they can sue you for compensation for any loss they suffer, but there shouldn't be any.
                        It may be that what reasonable loss there could be is a lot more acceptable when compared to a tenancy going ahead, but I won't be so sure to say there will be no loss.
                        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                        I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                          In theory they can sue you for compensation for any loss they suffer, but there shouldn't be any.
                          It is unwise to assume that no damages are payable if the proposed tenant does not suffer a monetary loss. Damages may be available for inconvenience and/or disappointment. If they were not, it would mean you effectively have a contract which only the landlord can enforce and leave a landlord free to break a contract if a better offer comes along.

                          An application can of course be made for specific performance.

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                            #14
                            Thanks for the help and advice to those that replied

                            Comment

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