Deducting money WITHOUT taking the property

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    Deducting money WITHOUT taking the property

    Dear Everyone,

    I'm desperate about this strange situation:

    On day 7 May 2011 I saw property which I do like in Central London. I make an offer based on my knowledge of rental market and it was accepted. Same afternoon the "Agency" required me to pay an Holding Deposit of 600.00 pound sterling to secure the Property

    I filled the Reference Form, pay the Holding deposit and tell them I will need the property ready for the day 10 May 2011

    I really WANT the property but unfortunately the Reference were not ACCEPTED and without them I could not go ahead. The agency says they will refund the money paid but today I receive the following e-mail:

    "Dear Fabio

    Further to our conversation I can refund £200 of the holding deposit that you left me as the property was off the market for 4 days due to referencing not being acceptable."

    I do understand about the Referencing Cost but I had never seen any indication about deducting RENT from my holding deposit and It was not state on the Deposit Form signed which only say:

    "If the Landlord withdraws from this agreement we shall return the deposit to you. However, if you should withdraw from this agreement, the deposit received will be retained and will be paid on the Landlord less any charge incurred. All properties are taken as seen, unless otherwise states in the above conditions.

    Please note that Ba*r***w charge an administration fee per tenant. This will include referencing cost. Please agent for costs."

    Any suggestion of how to deal with this matter will be really appreciate

    Thanks!!!

    #2
    So the highlighted wording covers only cases in which either L or T withdraws. Here, you haven't. If anyone has, it's L!
    If so, you should recover the whole amount.
    If L denies withdrawing, the highlighted wording does not apply at all- so, again, you should recover the whole amount.
    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


      #3
      Deducting money WITHOUT taking the property

      Dear,

      thank you for your answer.

      when you say "recover the whole amount" you mean also the Reference Fee? Or just the first week holding deposit paid to secure the property?

      I also proposed to pay six months rent in advance and six weeks deposit but the agent told me that they cannot accept it. They told me the reason is that the LENDER (BANK) used by the Landlord to buy the property doesn't give them permission of renting the property to me unless the Reference have been accepted.

      Regards,

      Comment


        #4
        I meant the deposit, as in If the Landlord withdraws from this agreement we shall return the deposit to you.
        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


          #5
          Deducting money WITHOUT taking the property

          Dear,

          thank you for your answer.

          I understood what you say. My last question is:

          Having the reference refused doesn't entitle the Landlord (or the Agency involved) to withdraw from the agreement and keep my entire deposit or part of it?

          Thank You!

          Comment


            #6
            As no documentation entitles L:
            a. to withdraw; but
            b. to keep the deposit;
            he cannot.
            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


              #7
              Jeffrey is right.

              If the agent is relying on the document you provided the text from, they are not entitled to withhold anything more than the reference fee, which shouldn't be more than 50 quid.

              I would approach the owner of the letting agency and if they don't refund you there and then or soon after, I would threaten to take them to small claims court.

              This should focus the mind of the agency.

              Before any applicant pays me any holding deposit money (or any money actually), I state in writing to them what the holding deposit is for, the circumstances in which this money shall be returned or forfeited (FYI - I have never had to forfeit any applicant's holding deposit money).

              Some applicants chose not to pay me a holding deposit and just take the chance that someone else will see and be offered the property before their assessment has been carried out.
              Natural selection is a wonderful thing
              You shall know them by their fruit
              Saying "Never say never", says it

              Comment


                #8
                Deducting money WITHOUT taking the property

                Dear,

                first of all I want to thank you both!!!!

                After your advice i sent an e-mail to the Estate Agency, to which they reply:

                "Dear xxxxxxx

                I confirm receipt of you email. I will respond once I have seeked legal advice.

                Yours sincerely"


                Unfortunately this was on the 20th of May, NEARLY 16 DAYS AGO!!!!, and they still have not get back to me.

                Is there anything I could do before proceeding with a small court claim?

                Regards,

                Comment


                  #9
                  It might help if you state what your e-mail said?
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Scrungy View Post
                    Jeffrey is right.

                    If the agent is relying on the document you provided the text from, they are not entitled to withhold anything more than the reference fee, which shouldn't be more than 50 quid.

                    I would approach the owner of the letting agency and if they don't refund you there and then or soon after, I would threaten to take them to small claims court.
                    I'm not even sure that the LA can withold the monies for referencing, particularly without any further information regarding the references. The money stated can only be removed if T unilaterally withdraws from the transaction, it does not say "subject to references" or anything like that, simply states if LL withdraws deposit will be returned, which in this case it was not.

                    Dealing with your latest post OP. I would send a chase up, with the view that if you dont recieve a response within a set time frame that you will proceed with a small court claim and complaint to local trading standards.
                    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                    Comment

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