Lodger decides not to move in -deposit retainable?

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    Lodger decides not to move in -deposit retainable?

    This post is being written in on behalf of the two parties involved. Homeowner had a French lodger who had to move back to France, no issues there. Issue is with the potential replacement lodger (who is nicknamed K in the following timeline)


    Thurs 23th Oct - French girl gives 4 weeks notice, and pays the room up to 20th Nov. Homeowner starts advertising.

    Fri 7th Nov - K visits the house and verbally agrees to moving in in late November. This is fine with the homeowner because the room is paid up by the French girl until 20th Nov anyway.

    Sat 8th Nov - French girl returns to France so the room is now empty. Homeowner turns down a German girl who wanted to move in the next day, as he has promised the room to K.

    Sun 9th Nov - K wires Homeowner 4 weeks' deposit.

    Fri 14th November - K emails to say she's changed her mind. Homeowner replies that he'll start advertising the room again and he think that K will only be liable for a week's deposit (because he's lost a week's advertising). He is later told by friends that actually K could be liable for more.


    Other points to note:
    - Correspondence was done via text and email. No contract had been signed yet.
    - K's claim for change of heart was because although the house is in a relatively safe residential family area, she is not comfortable with the walk to and from the tube

    The question is this! From 20th Nov (the day that the French girl had paid up to), is K liable for only a week's worth of rent (due to the week that homeowner lost in advertising), or is K liable for the deposit pro-rata till homeowner finds another lodger. The homeowner has been advertising just as before, but with absolutely no luck this time (yet!)

    ANY GUIDANCE MOST GRATEFULLY RECEIVED BY THE TWO PARTIES!

    #2
    This has been covered under other threads very recently. As you don't yet have a contract with K then you can't retain her deposit.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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      #3
      So despite all the written emails and texts that clearly state K's intention to move in, the fact that no contract was signed voids any deposit liability? Doesn't sound right, K surely must be have some accountability here.

      Comment


        #4
        I think Paul_F is right. No contract has been signed therefore you have no legal agreement and K is liable for nothing. I think this is just a case of being unlucky from Homeowners view. Get advertising!!

        James
        I Take Life with a Pinch of Salt.… A Wedge of Lime, and a Shot of Tequila.... Therefore any information given in this post is based on my own experiences as a landlord. It is NOT legal advice.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
          This has been covered under other threads very recently. As you don't yet have a contract with K then you can't retain her deposit.
          Just because nothing is signed, there could still be a contract. If terms are agreed, the "deposit" could be the consideration.

          Suggest OP reads for more detail:

          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...eposit+binding
          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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          You can search the forums here:

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            #6
            Originally posted by Bel View Post
            Just because nothing is signed, there could still be a contract. If terms are agreed, the "deposit" could be the consideration.
            Yes, but only if all other terms have been provably agreed and accepted by both parties.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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              #7
              In which case all Landlords take heed. Getting a deposit means ZERO if not unaccompanied with a signed contract!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by sokh View Post
                In which case all Landlords take heed. Getting a deposit means ZERO if not unaccompanied with a signed contract!
                Not quite; the contract can be verbal, no sig required, but always best

                And if no contract, deposit is refundable (less LL/agents admin expenses)
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                You can search the forums here:

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