Rent offer accepted by agents but landlord denied moving me into property

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    Rent offer accepted by agents but landlord denied moving me into property

    Hello All,


    To Whom It May Concern,

    Me and my wife were recently looking around for a property to rent when I found the ideal place to live. From there I sat down with the agent and was told about the details of the property such as rent and all the reference requirements which I would need to provide.

    The charges were as follows:

    Monthly Rent:1000 pcm
    Agent fee-300 pounds for agent fees and all reference checks.
    First deposit after offer being accepted subject to passing of refrences: 500 pounds
    2nd Deposit-Full amount of 2210 pounds to be paid in full for the official move.
    Grand Total-3000 Pounds roughly.


    I agreed verbally to all charges and paid 290 pounds, for the reference checks to begin and provided all reference details as requested by agents such as gurantor, previous landlord and work references.


    They used rentchecks.com to check all references, I had a email confirmation a couple of days from the agents confirming that all references have passed and I would need to pay my first part of the deposit of 500 pounds within 48hrs after the offer has been accepted, which I did straightaway.

    I than had to pay the remainder deposit of 2208 pounds 48hrs before moving in to the property officially and send photocopies of my ids and utility bills to complete the move, which I also did.

    Everything was going smooth and in the meantime I had given my utility bill providers of the move and ceasing all my services, I also arranged for a removal company for help with the move.

    Than all of a sudden the landlord got involved with the agents regarding my wife’s legal status in the uk a day before the move such as what is her visa status and what is my visa status, as I am from USA.

    As I had sent my visa for renewal and by calling frequently to the home office for the visa status I was confirmed verbally that my visa had been approved by the home office and it was just was a matter of time for me to receive my visa.

    I explained this to the agent the whole story but the agent said that the landlord requires a visa to prove I am not here illegally and so down the line I wont have to vacate my flat due to my visa problems, the agents had asked me for proof in writing from the home office and rightly so I tried contacting them (home office) but unfortunately they don’t send confirmation via email or post regarding immigration and don’t talk about my visa status to third party due to data protection act.

    I explained to the agent all this and tried to convince him to call my work place to check I am working as I obviously cant work if I am not legal.
    To this the agent denied contacting my work stating I could have arranged someone to say I am legal.

    As the agent can see my frustration the estate agent will try to speak to the landlord regarding my case to convince them that I can be trusted of my visa status on Monday and help me complete my move.

    I had packed all my belongings, arranged all my bills to be transferred to the new property and arranged for a removal company to help complete the move on the day of the move.

    As this did not happen on the day of move, I had to pay a full cancellation fee to the removal company and to top it all up I had to ask my old landlord to have me at there place for a couple of days till all this moving gets sorted. I have been put through so much stress for this move the last couple of days that I don’t know what am I suppose to do.


    Now my question is this that I am willing to move but if the talks breakdown with the landlord will I get my full refund and also will I be able to claim for the cancellation charges from the removal company?

    Because I am willing to move in as soon as possible and now it all depends on the landlord being convinced?

    Please advice me what I can do.

    Kind Regards,

    #2
    Whilst there may be some devil in the detail, the basic position is that either:

    (a) there is a contract for a letting, in which case the landlord must proceed or pay damages; or,

    (b) there is no contract for a letting, in which case you are entitled to have all sums repaid, but equally have no claim for any removal or other expenses incurred.

    Comment


      #3
      There was a contract for letting which no one had signed yet except my guarantor and all i did was mark my intitals on every page?

      Comment


        #4
        The deposit money you have paid seems to be on the condition that you were both accepted and if the agent took the money, then you must have both been accepted.

        It seems that the agent acted unprofessionally as they did not establish you & your wife's status in the UK before going further with your application, getting reference checks, drawing up a tenancy agreement and taking a large amount of money from you.

        In addition, the letting fees may also be liable for refund to you as the agent should have done a simple check as to both of your statuses before carrying out reference checks.

        You will be entitled to all the deposit money you have paid because the fault lies with the agent and the LL, who instructed the agent.

        FYI - 300 for agent fees is quite a lot of money and if you end up looking elsewhere, I would find an agent that does not charge such large fees, which are almost 100% pure profit for the agent.
        An agent that charges this level of fees may have other "costs" or "fees" in store for the tenant and also, may be sloppy, slipshod & disinterested when it comes to providing any service or responding to you when you ask. The agent not paying attention to your statuses in the UK is evidence of this.

        Reference checks for letting agents cost them a few pounds (<10) at most as they get special rates from reference agencies which aren't available to private landlords. Therefore, if you do end up looking at other properties from other agents, pay attention to their tenant fees.
        The better agents will charge, at most, around 50 pounds per person.

        I am sorry that you have had this experience and that it may give you the idea that this is how letting agents and landlords behave here, but this is not the norm and you will have better experiences elsewhere if you choose to move somewhere else.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by outlaw123 View Post
          Now my question is this that I am willing to move but if the talks breakdown with the landlord will I get my full refund and also will I be able to claim for the cancellation charges from the removal company?
          There was a contract for letting which no one had signed yet except my guarantor and all i did was mark my intitals on every page?
          This doesn't prove you had a contract with the LL as it isn't signed by LL or agent. Do you have anything in writing from the agent or LL which might indicate that they agreed to create a tenancy? (The agent acts on behalf of the LL so what he says has equal weight).

          Do you have evidence of the money you've paid to the agent (e.g. receipts, bank records, etc)?

          Is the agent a member of a professional body such as http://www.arla.co.uk/?

          If the LL refuses to go ahead with the tenancy, and agent refuses to return the fees paid, you can bring a county court claim; easily done via Money Claim Online, and you don't need a solicitor to pursue a claim of less than £5,000. It will be allocated to the small claims track, which is designed for use by litigants-in-person and court fees are relatively low (and are added to your claim).

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the replies.

            Yes I was emailed by the agent that everything is fine and to print out the contract sent via email to me to bring the next day and also copies of my visas to which i told the agent of my problems.

            I do have evidence of paying agent via bank transfer which the details they had sent.

            The agent is a member of a professional body.

            Regarding can i demand the money refund straight away or do I have go by there refund policy?they take ten days for a refund.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by outlaw123 View Post
              There was a contract for letting which no one had signed yet except my guarantor and all i did was mark my intitals on every page?
              Did it incorporate any obligations for G, and did G execute it as a Deed?
              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

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