Agent let my chosen house after I'd paid holding deposit

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    Agent let my chosen house after I'd paid holding deposit

    Having looked through a few of the posts on here I thought I would trouble you all for a bit of advice......

    I agreed to take a house about a month ago, and paid a holding deposit of £500 and provided references etc. I phoned the letting agent last week, and was told the landlord had rented independently, and was told the same thing on Monday. However, it turns out, the letting agent were renting out another couples apartment as they wanted to move to a house, and the agency showed them the property I'd paid the deposit on, and they took it!

    I spent about 2 months looking, before I agreed to take the property, and now I'm back to square one and have to find a place within 2-3 weeks for my wife and children to move into from abroad. Seems highly dishonest the letting agent could do this. I'm wondering, can I claim from the letting agency time and expenses looking for a new property?

    Many thanks in advance.

    #2
    Trace,

    I feel that it's a bit "off" that the letting agents have done this, if they are telling the truth about the landlord, they have the right to change their mind about any applicant, regardless of whether they have paid holding fees etc... (Unless of course you have a signed tenancy agreement).

    I doubt that you would be able to claim any expenses from the agent, but depending on the terms and conditions you have signed, they should at least refund your holding deposit. I would recommend finding out if the agent is regulated by ARLA, NALS, or the property ombudsman service. If they are, and you struggle to get a refund for your holding deposit, it would be worth speaking to them.

    Regards,

    Martin & Co Hinckley.

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      #3
      Has the agent refunded the £500 holding deposit?

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks Hinckley-MartinCo,

        The letting agent is does not belong to ARLA, NALS, or the property ombudsman service.

        I received a letter two days ago (dated 15 May, 1 day after I paid the initial deposit) that they had refunded my £500. Nothing in my account.

        As for the holding deposit, what is it for if the agency can keep showing other prospects through? From reading other threads, prospective tenants usually lose it if they back out.

        Comment


          #5
          I do agree with you on the point you raise about the holding fee you paid.

          Out of principle, once I take a holding deposit from a tenant all of my other viewings are cancelled and put on hold pending references. (As long as our terms of business are signed and agreed to).

          If the agent is not a member of any regulatory body then the only thing you can really do is follow their internal complaints procedure. As stated in my previous post, if the landlord did genuinely find someone independantly he has the right to reject your application.

          In relation to your money not being received, I would advise asking them what date it was transferred in to your account. If it should have been in your account by now I would then recommend initiating a trace with your's, and the agents bank.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by trace2010 View Post
            As for the holding deposit, what is it for if the agency can keep showing other prospects through? From reading other threads, prospective tenants usually lose it if they back out.
            You may find this post regarding holding deposits of interest.

            http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...90&postcount=1

            Comment


              #7
              Yes, and also, whether or not they refunded the deposit, you do have a contract with the Landlord (acting through its agent):

              a. you pay LL £500 holding deposit (which they may keep if you walk away);

              b. in return for them removing the property from the market.

              Agents are so used to screwing people out out of so much money that they seem to think they now have the right, by way of custom, to make profit for no work or without any obligation on their part.

              Comment


                #8
                westminster. That link was very helpful. However, it's the letting agency who have failed to hold the property for me, and let it to people whom wanted to rent their flat (double commission for the letting agents). I paid half months rent on 25 May and on the receipt , that "I/we understand that the property will be secured by payment of half on one months rent, for a maximum of 21 days from the date of this receipt." Is there any come back on this?

                Hinckley-MartinCo. I received my holding deposit to my bank a/c today. And the letting agent is not a member of any regulatory body. However, they do say on their website that they follow the Law Society Guidelines for letting property. Surely showing prospective tenants after taking the holding deposit, and lying about it, are not covered in these guidelines? Also, they are not involved with any redress scheme, like the property ombusman.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by trace2010 View Post
                  westminster. That link was very helpful. However, it's the letting agency who have failed to hold the property for me, and let it to people whom wanted to rent their flat (double commission for the letting agents).
                  The agent acts on behalf of the landlord.

                  I paid half months rent on 25 May and on the receipt , that "I/we understand that the property will be secured by payment of half on one months rent, for a maximum of 21 days from the date of this receipt." Is there any come back on this?
                  I think it comes down to what lawcruncher says at the end of that post:

                  Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                  The problem in all property negotiations is this:

                  A. Neither party is bound to the other until there is a contract

                  B. If no contract is concluded neither party is liable for any expense or loss that may be incurred by the other.

                  You cannot get round B. Property lawyers have had a go, but no workable scheme has emerged to square the circle.
                  If you were to pursue a claim against the agent/landlord, you'd have to pay a lawyer to conduct your case, and from the look of it there's a pretty good chance you'd lose.

                  Comment

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