Can he make us pay?

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    Can he make us pay?

    Hiya, New person here!!
    I need some advice. My partner and I are in the process of moving house (renting again!). I have been offered a new job so we spent a day in the new area looking at places and we had made a decision by the end of the day, which we informed the agency of. A few days later we paid a £200 pound deposit and £90 credit check fee. We were informed this was sufficient to hold the property until we moved in and signed the contracts on the 16th Dec (it's a long drive and we have to work out notice in old jobs so can't go before then, which is when we want to move in). Now we have been informed that the £200 was only a holding fee and only holds the property for two weeks (funnily enough if we back out it's non refundable). We are now being forced by the agency (on the owners demands) to rent the property from the 1st December and thus pay rent for the whole month of December (while also paying rent for December on our current place). The owner has said that he doesn't want to risk losing the place if we pull out, which I can understand. However, we don't want to lose £290 (especially around Xmas), and I have accepted the job offer and I start in January so we will need somewhere to live. I wrote back to the agency that if he is worried that we will back out, we give him our word that we will not (which we won't, I need somewhere to live!!!!). He also has the deposit/holding fee. We even agreed to pay the money they are now callling the deposit (£400) now, and the first months rent when we sign the contract. So I think him wanting us to start the tenancy from the 1st is unreasonable, just a way to get another £300 out of us!! We have told them all we have to move in and we have passed the credit checks and everything!!!! Has anyone got any advice? What are our rights on this? He was threatening to keep the property on the market (both for sale and rent), even though we paid the £200 and are willing to apy another £400 now!!!
    Help please!!!!

    #2
    Oh boy! Doesn't bode well for future relations with this prospective landlord.

    When you paid a holding deposit what conditions were placed on it? Were the conditions in writing? Did you receive a receipt? When did you lay out this money?

    Sounds like you're gonna have a battle on your hands to get the prospective landlord/agent to honour any bargain they had with you.

    Do you still want to rent this property?

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your quick reply! We transferred the money into the agency's bank account so we do have a trace on it, but no, we did not receive a reciept. When we placed the holding deposit, we didn't know it held the property for only two weeks, and we feel like we've been bullied into it. I start my new job in January and like I said befire we have to have somewhere to live, so at this late stage we really have to take it. There were no conditions agreed and the agency rep was well aware that we can't move in until the 16th and that we didn't want to tenancy to start til then. It seems now that they are not being very helpful in trying to get hte owner to agree to what we want!!!

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        #4
        You do not appear to have not answered my question. When did you lay out this money?

        I think the landlord has realised that he is losing out on a month's rent to your £200 and you may not even move in.

        Perhaps the members can come up with a different angle which allows the landlord to keep marketing the property and to refund you the holding deposit (not the credit check).

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          #5
          A landlord should want to make as much money out of his property as he legitimately can. One thing that has to be considered is minimising voids. This landlord has a tenant that doesn't want to move in until January, thus there will be no rental income for December, and there is the risk that the tenant may find a better place and write off his "holding" deposit. (It's happened to me.) A prudent landlord would therefore continue to market the place and if a suitable tenant appears who wants to move in right away, accept him and refund the previous potential tenant's deposit. If you want to make sure that the place is available when you want it in January, I should sign the AST, pay the rent for December and pick up the keys otherwise you might find yourself starting a new job in a homeless situation.

          P.P.
          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.

          Comment


            #6
            Hiya, Sorry, we gave them the £290 about two days (the 18th Nov) after we viewed the property. Initially he was ok with us starting the tenancy on the 16th then he changed his mind. Yes, he does need to make money out of it, but the property has been vacant for several months with no interest, so I would think he would be glad to get someone who is interested and willing to move in. I would think that he would rather lose two weeks rent than possibly several more months, as there has been no other interest!!! Also, our current landlord is very fair and would not try and get more money out of us just because he is greedy! Is it unreasonable to expect our new landlord to be the same?!!!
            Last edited by kareneogorman; 01-12-2006, 12:25 PM. Reason: can't remember what month it is....

            Comment


              #7
              It is his decision! If he wants to gamble the loss of a further 3 months or so rent against loosing a couple of weeks rent then that it his decision. If you want to say - no I am not paying any more but will still move in when I said if the property is still available, then that is your decision. May the best man win!

              P.P.
              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.

              Comment


                #8
                The way I see it, there was a verbal contract between yourselves and the Agent to start the AST on 16th December? They took a deposit to this effect.

                The Agent is now saying the AST has to start on the 1st Dec instead and unless you comply you lose your holding deposit. You haven't changed the terms of your verbal agreement, the Agent/LL has. Your problem is proving it.

                It's 2 weeks money, say - (don't know what the rent is).

                So your choices are: POSSIBLY lose the deposit until, if and when you are able to successfully reclaim this through the Small Claims Court.

                Or

                Pay the extra 2 weeks and use the time to move down gradually over a period of weeks, as opposed to hours / days.

                I know what I'd do ..
                Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think he's being greedy, and probably knows your situation so thinks he has you over a barrel, so to speak.

                  It's a bit of a gamble, but you could stick by what you want and hope he doesn't find anyone in the next 2 weeks. However, there's no guarantee he'll let you move in and may change his mind out of spite.

                  Once you are in, he can't get rid of you legally for the fixed term (unless you breach the tenancy) so you have plenty of time to find somewhere else.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by pippay View Post
                    The way I see it, there was a verbal contract between yourselves and the Agent to start the AST on 16th December? They took a deposit to this effect.

                    If you still want to stay with your original plan, (and risk the possiblity of other tenants cutting in first), write a letter outlining the above, saying it would be unlawful to retain the deposit if you don't comply with their new demands, and say that if they find other tenants you expect your holding deposit to be refunded.
                    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                      #11
                      Why don't you offer to pay a full months rent NOW. This would be as a holding deposit against a 16th Dec start. The deposit would be your first months rent once the AST is signed and underway. I'm sure most Landlords would find that acceptable. I agree with P Pilcher; the Landlord doesn't know you and £200 isn't much compensation if he found himself without a tenant over the Christmas period.

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                        #12
                        Thanks for your help guys. I might suggest that we give him the rest of the 'deposit' (£400) and the first months rent (£600) now if we can start the tenancy the 16th Dec. Do you think that sounds reasonable?

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                          #13
                          Entirely reasonable. I'd be amazed if he didn't accept. Good luck.

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                            #14
                            Well to update... Haven't been successful in getting the tenancy to start the 16th Dec. Spoke repeatedly to the agents who said they would speak to the landlord, but to no avail. We reminded the agency that we agreed (with the rep we dealt with when we viewed the house) that we would pay the 'holding deposit' the next working day as long as we could start the agreement on the 16th. They weren't interested in our gentle reminder. Conveniently, the rep we dealt with has been away/sick/on a course for all this time so we have had to dela with other reps from the agency. So all we have been able to do is go and sign the contract and pay the money, and we made them aware that we are going to get legal advice on whether it was a verbal contract and therefore bound them to what we agreed before the landlord decided he wanted the tenancy to start the 1st Dec!!! Hope that makes sense!!! Does anyone know whether we have shot ourselves in the foot by signing the contract and paying the money??
                            Thanks!!!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Regardless of the undesirable situation so far, is it still possible to move in on 16 December 2006 according to the tenancy agreement that you signed?

                              Comment

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