cancelling a tenancy bfore contracts are signed - are we liable for lost rent?

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    cancelling a tenancy bfore contracts are signed - are we liable for lost rent?

    We were due to be renting a flat from 23 July 2016. Circumstances have changed on our end, in that we have secured a house purchase and can complete/rent by 31 July 2016. We had previously sought rented accommodation, as our current tenancy is due to expire on 31 July 2016.

    I informed the letting agent 2 days ago that we would have to cancel the rental. We have not signed any tenancy agreements as yet (we were sent one about 5 days ago to sign)

    The letting agent has subsequently emailed back saying they have informed the landlord of the cancellation, and I quote "I have spoken to the landlord, who is obviously not very happy, but providing a new tenant can be found for the same dates as yourselves were supposed to move in, then he will not take any further action to continue this tenancy."

    We have paid a £200 holding deposit and a £200 admin fee.

    To me that sounds like they think we should pay him for any lost rent that may occur between 23 July and date of occupation of the flat with new tenants?

    Is this my problem? Can they 'make' me pay?

    I understand that I have definitely lost the Admin Fee and probably the holding deposit.

    #2
    The landlord has suffered no loss at all.
    Had he advertised the property and had prospective tenants lined up then that would be one thing.

    What was agreed about the "holding" deposit for a property you are already living in?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      They can't make you pay without either a) you agreeing to or b) taking you to court.

      As a) is unlikely, their only option is b) and they'd have to prove they suffered a loss as a result of you breaking your agreement - which would be very difficult.
      They'd have to prove they turned other people away in order to rent to you - which would be difficult.

      I'd write off the two fees you've paid and enjoy your new home.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        To be clear, we are living in a separate property currently

        Comment


          #5
          Okay. I understand.


          What was agreed about the holding deposit?
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by thesaint View Post
            Okay. I understand.


            What was agreed about the holding deposit?
            Thinking about it I am pretty sure I haven't signed any contract at all, not even a pre-tenancy one.

            Comment


              #7
              Before considering whether there is a loss it has to be decided if there is a contract. The fact that no contract has been signed is helpful, though not conclusive since a contract may have been agreed earlier. That depends on who said what in what order. The terms on which the deposit was paid may affect the position.

              I bet a shilling to a pound that if the landlord wanted to withdraw you would be told you had no contract because nothing had been signed.

              Comment


                #8
                You can say that "Now that we have seen the Tenancy agreement, the contract, we are not prepared to sign up to such an unfair agreement, which is so different from the Governments Model AST, we've taken legal advice and we'd like our holding deposit back and admin fee, and will happily take action to recover them"

                Until contract is signed there is no contract, go on the offensive.

                https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ssured-tenancy

                Most Letting agents are so far removed from the best practice * that it will be easy to point out specific unfair clauses which they add, randomly, sometime contrary to legislation.

                *best practice ? I'm a firm believer that the rental world works best when there is a win win contract, which is fair but protects both parties. Whether all landlords consider this agreement best practice is open to debate, but as I hate letting agents with a vengeance, that any bullshit about paying if they can't find replacements deserves them to be fully put back in their place.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I agree with all the above. Even if you agreed orally to a create a tenancy the worst that can happen is that the LL could argue that by not moving in and paying rent, you were in breach of contract (to create a tenancy) and could sue you for losses subsequent on that - which would be next to nowt, since they still have nearly a month to find other tenants. Also, they should not have agreed to create a tenancy before you had the chance to read the contract, let alone sign it.

                  I would be demanding my tenancy deposit back and (depending on T & C) probably my holding deposit, too.
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Logical.Lean View Post

                    Until contract is signed there is no contract, go on the offensive.
                    Simply not true.
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Aren't all lettings like house sales STC??

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by shearne View Post
                        Aren't all lettings like house sales STC??
                        No.

                        A house sale is effectively subject to contract, even if not expressed to be, because the contract must comply with section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989. It is difficult to comply with the section without having a formal contract. Contracts to create tenancies for three years or less (and also at the best rent which can be reasonably obtained without taking a fine) are not subject to the section and can be created orally and without otherwise complying with the other requirements.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                          Simply not true.
                          You are in fact correct

                          What is said and appear to be agreed verbally is always open to interpretation,


                          Although to be fair, I'm always clear with people. We do not have agreement until we both sign the contract, we can both agree in principle, but until we sign on the dotted line, we can both change our minds.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                            No.

                            A house sale is effectively subject to contract, even if not expressed to be, because the contract must comply with section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989. It is difficult to comply with the section without having a formal contract. Contracts to create tenancies for three years or less (and also at the best rent which can be reasonably obtained without taking a fine) are not subject to the section and can be created orally and without otherwise complying with the other requirements.
                            And because legislation is clear what an AST is, any verbal agreement must be based on the understanding of only that which is law, and can not be assumed to include "standard terms" or rather some other random additions that the letting agent want to add willy nilly because they think they can.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              AFAIK, if LL accepts prospective Ts verbal request for forthcoming AST, no such AST can exist before agreed Commencement date BUT it does create an unwritten Contract to supply/occupy between both Parties. If T withdraws before AST commencement
                              then LL must mitigate his loss by re advertising/letting property asap BUT he is allowed to seek compensation for Breach of Supply/Occupy Contract, depending on length of cancellation Notice given ie less time (max 1 month)
                              LL can claim for advertising costs incurred & poss diff in rent

                              Comment

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