Student Let Advice

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  • Student Let Advice

    Hi there this is a long one im afraid, me and my girlfriend signed for a flat for our 2nd year at university in january it is due to start in july.. Unfortunately non of our parents were willing to sign the guarantors form after recieving them and also our circumstances have changed (due to current economic climate!) so we are both having to move back home. About a week after we signed we informed the letting agency of this.. We had already put down £100 each (£50 signing fee and £50 deposit) and were going to pay the rest of the deposit when our parents signed the guarentor forms.. The agency said they will have to keep our money to "readvertise" the property.. So far i have been past the agency on many occasions and I cannot see the property advertisied in the window anywhere, granted its still on the internet site but it was never taken off! I have since put adverts in gumtree and at uni etc where I have gained viewings for it. I feel the agency has done nothing with this money and iv been doing most things off of my own back, what can I do in regards to this if July comes round we have a flat to pay for (which we now can not afford) and I feel the agency has done NOTHING to try to get another tenant in? I email them often and they never seem to reply ever!!

    P.s. When we were signing the contract they messed it up about 3 times, said "the guy who deals with the contracts isnt in so we are improvising and she scribbled a few things out of it but said its all standard compliance with the student lets etc"

    Also just to add at the time they could not give us a copy of the contract and havent since?
    Many Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by rafed View Post
    Hi there this is a long one im afraid, me and my girlfriend signed for a flat for our 2nd year at university in january it is due to start in july.. Unfortunately non of our parents were willing to sign the guarantors form after recieving them and also our circumstances have changed (due to current economic climate!) so we are both having to move back home. About a week after we signed we informed the letting agency of this.. We had already put down £100 each (£50 signing fee and £50 deposit) and were going to pay the rest of the deposit when our parents signed the guarentor forms.. The agency said they will have to keep our money to "readvertise" the property.. So far i have been past the agency on many occasions and I cannot see the property advertisied in the window anywhere, granted its still on the internet site but it was never taken off! I have since put adverts in gumtree and at uni etc where I have gained viewings for it. I feel the agency has done nothing with this money and iv been doing most things off of my own back, what can I do in regards to this if July comes round we have a flat to pay for (which we now can not afford) and I feel the agency has done NOTHING to try to get another tenant in? I email them often and they never seem to reply ever!!

    P.s. When we were signing the contract they messed it up about 3 times, said "the guy who deals with the contracts isnt in so we are improvising and she scribbled a few things out of it but said its all standard compliance with the student lets etc"

    Also just to add at the time they could not give us a copy of the contract and havent since?
    Many Thanks
    Has the letting agency actually said that unless new tenants are found, you will be liable for the rent from July for the whole of the fixed term?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      yupp i just called them and they said that we would be liable for the whole tenancy upto the point where someone takes it over, im worried this will end in tears and go to court and also affect my job im applying for big time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rafed View Post
        yupp i just called them and they said that we would be liable for the whole tenancy upto the point where someone takes it over, im worried this will end in tears and go to court and also affect my job im applying for big time.
        You acknowledge having signed the [Counterpart] Tenancy Agreement. Why do you claim to be exempt from the consequences of your actions?
        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by rafed View Post
          yupp i just called them and they said that we would be liable for the whole tenancy upto the point where someone takes it over, im worried this will end in tears and go to court and also affect my job im applying for big time.
          In principle they are correct. You (presumably) signed a contract which is legally binding on you to take the property from July. The fact that your circumstances changed a week after signing, changes nothing legally.

          You say you have got part way through the formalities of setting up the tenancy agreement, deposit, etc., but that you have not been given a copy of the tenancy agreement nor paid any rent in advance, nor provided guarantors. If these things are a condition of the tenancy, then it could - I suppose - be argued that a tenancy has not been created yet, so you cannot be liable for one. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can advise on that?

          However, I would think the first thing to do is to demand a copy of what you signed to see what it says, exactly. Then you will know what you have and have not signed up to.

          In the meantime, it is up to you whether you continue to hunt for replacement tenants - something we have done in the past with our student properties is to ask the current tenants if they know anyone who would like to live there - and bung them a finder's fee of a couple of hundred quid for their co-operation in finding you someone. As you say, it is not the agent's problem in the end, and they are probably putting their energies into filling their other properties, not ones they thought they had filled.

          I'm afraid that whatever happens, you are not going to walk away from this without a bit of financial pain.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
            You acknowledge having signed the [Counterpart] Tenancy Agreement. Why do you claim to be exempt from the consequences of your actions?
            I dont claim to be exempt from them, i just wanted to know what i could look to do! Thanks for the info mind the gap, much appreciated. Yes I will get a copy of the contract, also i dont know if this is worth anything but our parents wanted to look at the contract so they gave them the one of their website (which our parents ok'd),but it has come to our attention that it is different from the one we signed.

            Once again many thanks

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rafed View Post
              I dont claim to be exempt from them, i just wanted to know what i could look to do! Thanks for the info mind the gap, much appreciated. Yes I will get a copy of the contract, also i dont know if this is worth anything but our parents wanted to look at the contract so they gave them the one of their website (which our parents ok'd),but it has come to our attention that it is different from the one we signed.

              Once again many thanks

              The discrepancy in the information provided for the prospective guarantors may invalidate their guarantorship (as guarantors are supposed to have been supplied with a copy of the correct TA to read before signing), but it would not, in itself, invalidate your tenancy unless - and I may be wrong on this - the TA contains a clause stating that a guarantor is a requirement without which the tenancy cannot proceed. However, I suspect it will be worded along the lines of 'If you do not provide a guarantor we may not allow you to proceed', which still allows then to continue if they wish.

              See what your TA specifies.

              Another suggestion re finding tenants - try accommodationforstudents.com. It's either free or very cheap to advertise and we've had a good response in the past when looking for one or two replacement tenants.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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              • #8
                ok il check it when i pick it up tomorrow once again thanks for your advice and the website!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Also see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=17166 for a thread on this very topic.
                  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).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thank you very much jeffrey i shall now have a read.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It doen't seem right that the agency can say they hold the OP for the fixed term if they have not actually exchanged the lease documents and given him his half.

                      The OP should insist they either release him from obligation or hand over signed agreement immediately . Then he should seek legal advice.
                      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                      * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                      You can search the forums here:

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                      • #12
                        there was only one contract each and neither had like carbon copies or anything etc so from what i know theres just that one contract each and no copies etc, i did actually think that we should have signed one for ourselves at the time?

                        Also the "person" who signs the contracts was not there at the time so the landlord section was not signed, is this allowed?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rafed View Post
                          there was only one contract each and neither had like carbon copies or anything etc so from what i know theres just that one contract each and no copies etc, i did actually think that we should have signed one for ourselves at the time?

                          Also the "person" who signs the contracts was not there at the time so the landlord section was not signed, is this allowed?
                          You signed your "half", the LL signs his half, then the documents are exchanged and you get the one with LL sig on it.

                          Agents will often get a T to sign the contact and do not exchange until the tenancy starts. That way, if they "go off" the tenant for any reason , they can always say the LL had a change of heart and did not sign, so the contract was never completed. Result: tenant kept on tenterhooks until the zero hour.
                          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                          * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                          You can search the forums here:

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                          • #14
                            rafed, one final suggestion for finding new tenants if you need to : your University Accommodation Office may well have lists of students looking for somewhere to live. Go and plead with them to put your property on their list and to contact you if anyone is interested.
                            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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