Letting Agent Withholding Key (Lease signed + rent paid)

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  • DPT57
    replied
    I think I would want more than just a refund in this circumstance. Is the tenant about to become homeless?

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
    What you need to do is the say to the agent: "Have we got a contract or not?" If he says you have not, then ask for a refund of the rent and deposit because he has no right to keep them if there is no contract. If he says there is, then ask him to point out where in the contract it says you have to provide the documents requested. Decline to leave until you either get the keys or your money back. Record the conversation on your mobile.
    This is a good route forward.

    The landlord is about to be in breach of contract.

    Thats not a matter for the police.

    Leave a comment:


  • doobrey
    replied
    Originally posted by HobbitShire
    From where I'm standing, this should be an issue between the landlord and the agency.
    Yes, that's how it sounds to me.

    I would phone agent, now, and try to get this resolved. If no progress, and if you haven't got contact details, you could try asking agent if you could speak direct to LL. Agent acts for LL and in most cases it is the landlord who is ultimately responsible. You may need to remind agent of this.

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  • Lawcruncher
    replied
    What you need to do is the say to the agent: "Have we got a contract or not?" If he says you have not, then ask for a refund of the rent and deposit because he has no right to keep them if there is no contract. If he says there is, then ask him to point out where in the contract it says you have to provide the documents requested. Decline to leave until you either get the keys or your money back. Record the conversation on your mobile.

    Leave a comment:


  • doobrey
    replied
    Originally posted by HobbitShire View Post
    The letting agent say that the landlord will not authorise the key handover until the background check is complete.
    Perhaps what is going on here is that the agent messed up? Didn't do the background checks they were supposed to, causing the LL to demand that they be done?

    However, if all signed and no conditions stipulated, it seems to late to add these requirements now. Agreed it sounds like breach of contract.

    If key still being withheld, I suggest call agent, speak to Manager, and use language such as "breach of contract". Enquire as to which redress scheme they belong to.

    Leave a comment:


  • DoricPixie
    replied
    The police are unlikely to do anything and this sounds more like breech of contract than fraud. “Reputable property agency” did make me chuckle.

    Does your partner have a copy of the tenancy agreement signed by both her and the landlord? If so then not allowing her to take up occupation of the property on the agreed tenancy start date would be breech of contract. Your partner could potentially find alternative accomodation and claim the cost back from the landlord through the courts. Accomodation costs would need to be reasonable so not a suite at Claridges.

    It does seem very odd that the landlord would sign the agreement before all checks were complete…I wouldn’t. Suggest your partner call Shelter for immediate housing advice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon66
    replied
    No bank statements with the old address on? These are available freely from your online account, or previous utility bills, council tax bills etc. I find it difficult to accept that they are unable to provide something. I would have concerns if you were my prospective tenant. You need to provide the documents as requested. You are being ridiculous suggesting it is fraud.

    Leave a comment:


  • Letting Agent Withholding Key (Lease signed + rent paid)

    My partner has recently signed a lease through a well known property agent in London.

    The lease was also signed by the landlord. References from current + previous employer, landlord, etc, and proof of address were requested before signing, and provided.

    Upon signing the lease (which had the landlord's signature already), my partner sent the deposit + 5 weeks rent up front, as agreed.

    She is due to move in tomorrow according to the lease, but now the letting agent is demanding further documents (proof of previous tenancy, which she cannot provide apart from the old lease she already gave them + document from local municipality). The letting agent say that the landlord will not authorise the key handover until the background check is complete.


    However the only background check that the signed lease stipulates is a right-to-rent check, which she has already completed by sharing her right-to-rent code, scanned passport, and visa (She is on a high-skill worker visa sponsered by a large american company).

    - The lease has been signed by all parties
    - Rent + deposit have been paid
    - Right to rent has already been proven
    - Background check info (not mentioned in lease) was already provided


    Can the letting agent really hold on to the key? The lease does not mention the key handover or check-in, only a start date (tomorrow).

    If the key is not handed over should we treat this as fraud and go to the police? This is a well known, reputable property agency. We have money to start a legal battle, but that still leaves her without a place to live, and the stress of this could cost her a highly paid job.

    if anyone could provide advice, or reccomend resources, i would really be grateful. We are new to the UK and are only learning about regulations and enforcement as we go.

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