Holding deposit and what to do?

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    Holding deposit and what to do?

    Feeling guilty.

    Tenants made offer on flat 5 day before Christmas with move in date mid Jan. They made an offer on the rent which I grudgingly accepted. (Rent already reduced due to Christmas & only adverstised 2 days). They paid holding deposit and credit check fee immediately.

    I have just had offer of asking rent from another couple and would like to take it.

    Can I return all moneys to original prospect on some pretext without repercussions? What would you do?

    #2
    Why use a pretext, simply say you no longer wish to go ahead with them, give them their money back. You don't have to give reasons for your decision.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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      #3
      hmmmmmmmmm is that (a) fair (b) you have a verbal agreement

      I appreciate we are not party to what was agree but I assume it was on the lines of the tenants have offered £X to move in on Y, Landlord accepts £X and move in Y, on condition that they pass credit check.

      They pass credit check and now landlord wants to back out because someone has offered higher.

      Is there a reason why someone could not sue you for breach of contract if they find out someone else has moved in after you have given a duff excuse ???

      Why dont you be honest and tell them someone has offered higher??? you expect tenants to tell the truth but landlords are allowed to lie when it suit?

      Comment


        #4
        If you are prepared to welch on an agreement it would seem fair you should expect & accept any tenant welching on any tenancy agreement - not paying rent, subletting, damaging the place, gaining credit in your name.


        Be honest & decent - you know, the British way eh?
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the feedback guys.

          In 20 odd years of lettings I rarely received offers. My asking rent is either spot on or below market. In this instance I'd already asked a reduced rent due to out of season yet prospects haggled futher and I feel a little hard done by TBH.

          Comment


            #6
            "They paid holding deposit."

            Does that prevent you from advertising the property to anyone
            else ?
            That's what a holding deposit is. Not THE deposit, but a holding deposit.

            But you HAVE received applications from others when you should not.

            No point in people supplying a holding deposit if you are not going
            to hold the property for them ! - ?

            R.a.M.

            Comment


              #7
              Questions about "holding deposits" usually come from tenants. Whether raised by tenant or landlord the same question needs to be asked: Was a contract formed and if so what were its terms? What exactly was agreed?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                Questions about "holding deposits" usually come from tenants. Whether raised by tenant or landlord the same question needs to be asked: Was a contract formed and if so what were its terms? What exactly was agreed?
                Lawcruncher, nothing was agreed in writing.

                I took £25 credit check for 2 applicants which I intend to return plus first month's rent. They said they wanted to move in Jan 16th. TBH I can't remember "exactly" what was said between us.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by John Duff View Post
                  Lawcruncher, nothing was agreed in writing.

                  I took £25 credit check for 2 applicants which I intend to return plus first month's rent. They said they wanted to move in Jan 16th. TBH I can't remember "exactly" what was said between us.
                  The absence of writing is not relevant here. Apart from that it sounds like the usual and therefore no contract at all.

                  Non-legal point: the question you may want to ask yourself is whether if the tenant withdrew you would have expected to keep the deposit. If the answer is "yes" then is it right for you to withdraw?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post

                    Non-legal point: the question you may want to ask yourself is whether if the tenant withdrew you would have expected to keep the deposit. If the answer is "yes" then is it right for you to withdraw?
                    Could you expand that argument please LC, as I see it the would be tenant may have failed the credit checks etc. in which case the landlord would have been right to turn him down.
                    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jta View Post
                      Could you expand that argument please LC, as I see it the would be tenant may have failed the credit checks etc. in which case the landlord would have been right to turn him down.
                      What I mean is if the tenant withdrew because he changed his mind.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hmm. OK. In which case the landlord is being a bit naughty in changing his mind. At least he intends to refund all monies paid.
                        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                        Comment


                          #13
                          "I took £25 credit check for 2 applicants which I intend to return plus first month's rent. They said they wanted to move in Jan 16th."

                          I take it that was £25/applicant for credit checks? So how much was holding deposit? Was this to be used for T deposit or 1st month rent when Ts moved in?. Did you take 1st month rent in addition to holding deposit and paid at similar time? Rent is not payable until due date.
                          General guidance for holding deposits -
                          1 MAY be forfeit by T if they withdraw before agreed move in date or sig fail credit check
                          2 WILL be returned by LL if property not avail on agreed move in date or under offer to a third party
                          Accepted T may have grounds for compensation, say 2 wks rent + costs, if property not avail for occupation on agreed date/. Similarly, it would be unwise to offer T to prosp full paying T at this time, equally due compo if property n/a
                          You accepted 1st prospect's offer of lower rent (poss because of Xmas)Your decision (T good negotiator?). A verbal contract was agreed & money changed hands.
                          IMO you have a moral duty to return all money and offer cash compensation if you wish to renage breach the implied Contract. This may cost more than diff in rent expected for 6 months.
                          The old word was 'gazumping'

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