Big Problem with Letting Agency...Please Help!!

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  • Big Problem with Letting Agency...Please Help!!

    I would be most grateful if anyone here could provide me with some advice on a problem. To keep this short, what happened is on 14th February 2006 we put down a deposit on a house which we were due to move in to on the
    1st September. When arriving at the agents on friday, we were informed that we would have no where to live as the tenancy agreement had not been signed and the landlord had pulled out. This would be perfectly acceptable if it wasnt for the fact that we have since traced the landlord and have been informed that a tenancy agreement had been signed for the property by the agents in January 2006, yet they still took our deposit for the house and kept it until 1st September when we managed to get part of it back minus a hefty administration fee. I just do not know what i can do about this and what the legal position regarding their actions is. Do you have any solutions?

    Cheers All


  • #2
    Huge time delays between taking a deposit for a property and the start of the proposed tenancy agreement are unusual, and I suspect that a member of the agent's staff cocked it up big time. A six month AST was probably signed for the property sometime in January and the agent naievely (spelling ???) assumed that on expiry of this another tenant should be found. Indeed the tenant who took the tenancy in January may possibly have said at the time that they would be moving out in September. Of course, plans change and said tenant has now announced that they wish to remain!
    The agent should never have offered you the property without being certain that vacant possession would be available to his landlord at the time stated. The agent is IMHO trying it on by witholding their administration fee and I suggest you take the agent to the small claims court for a refund of same and possibly some compensation for your inconvenience.
    I should start by a sternley worded letter to the agent requiring a response in seven days. Of course if they are a member of an established body such as ARLA or NEA then there is a disputes proceedure run by these bodies that you can try as well.

    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


    • #3
      Letting problems

      Thanks for your reply....there was a 6month tenancy but these are not the tenants who have been moved in. In January 06 a 10month tenancy to run from 1st september was signed by another set of tenants. However, in february we were shown the place and paid a deposit for a rental period of the same length and commencement date as those which had signed in january. So, they had booked two sets of tenants to move into the house in the same day, and had known this for months yet done nothing.



      • #4
        Well - I was only guessing! It looks as though the cock-up was even bigger time than originally thought. The first half hour of consultation with a solicitor should be free and it sounds as though you have a good case. Of course if this is not financially viable then you have a better case to present yourself to the SCC.

        Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


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