non resident tenant

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  • non resident tenant

    Heres one for the topic experts that I uncovered today. Tenant is a foreign national student living outside of the UK. She had a friend in the UK call up about a flat, who viewed it and accepted it on behalf of the tenant. The agent takes the tenants details, negotiates the deal with the landlord and arranges a tenancy agreement for the tenant to move in on the 25th November. They have scanned passport and student visa, tenant is paying 6 months rent in advance.

    Move forward to today. Tenant is still in home country unable to get a placement in her uni of choice. She has paid all the money up front into the agents account, but only on Friday. Agent is still yet to see a copy of the signed original tenancy agreement which was sent to the tenant over a month ago. Tenant has now emailed agent to say she won't be in the UK until the 20th December.

    In the meanwhile the landlords property sits empty.

    Can the landlord have the rent? I think not as there is no signed agreement or guarantee that the tenant will ever turn up to take up occupation.
    My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

  • #2
    No singed agreement no rent BUT I am sure agent will come up with something so he can take a large cut if not all any money paid prior to AST sign.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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    • #3
      But has she paid? It looks like it might be a variation of the 'send a cheque and claim it back' scam.
      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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      • #4
        In this situation I think one could argue that the contract has been formed and that the written agreement just records it, so that LL can charge rent from 25th Nov.

        In any case agent has received the money on behalf of the landlord and cannot withhold it.

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        • #5
          The three elements of a contract have been performed, offer, acceptance and consideration. The tenancy hasn't yet commenced though you should note.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
            No singed agreement no rent BUT I am sure agent will come up with something so he can take a large cut if not all any money paid prior to AST sign.
            There is absolutely no suggestion of this at all. They are concerned to do the right thing.
            My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jta View Post
              But has she paid? It looks like it might be a variation of the 'send a cheque and claim it back' scam.
              Funds are in the agents account already, sent by international chaps bank transfer.
              My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                In any case agent has received the money on behalf of the landlord and cannot withhold it.
                There was no intention to withhold it, what they weren't sure about was whether to pay it to the landlord or pay it back to the tenant
                My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                  The three elements of a contract have been performed, offer, acceptance and consideration. The tenancy hasn't yet commenced though you should note.
                  Thanks Paul, thats what I initially thought but the abscence of a signed agreement threw me and the fact that she not in the UK and potentially may never come here. What are the ramifications of the tenancy having not yet commenced?
                  My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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