Agent took tenants' deposit/1m rent w/o instruction...

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    Agent took tenants' deposit/1m rent w/o instruction...

    I had an estate agent find a new tenant for my flat, which they did, and then had the tenants sign a tenancy agreement and send to the agent their deposit and first month rent. (I had not signed any terms with the agent, nor had this been discussed.) As I preferred to collect the rent myself and hold the deposit, they agreed to amend the tenancy agreement accordingly, which I did sign (i.e. lease says that the tenants transfer the deposit + 1m rent to my bank account prior to moving in.)

    However, the agent kept the money the tenants had sent them. Easiest thing would be for them to transfer me the money directly (less their fee), which would be fine with me; however, they have said that they require proof that I have registered the deposit with a deposit protection scheme prior to return it me, claiming that they are a regulated entity and that they have to follow this procedure.

    Obviously I will register the deposit once received and am happy to provide them confirmation, but they are insisting on having the proof of registration prior to returning the deposit. Is there any legal basis to what they are claiming?

    Thanks

    #2
    I guess the agent themselves have not protected the deposit as yet? Be carefull the 30 days days does not go past before protecting the deposit.Your name is on the agreement now not the agent so I would think you are now responsible for protecting the deposit .

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      #3
      The deposit must be protected within 30 days of tenant paying it and although you are ultimately responsible for this, the tenant could also consider suing the agent if its not done in time,since it is themselves they have sent the money too.

      I don't think they have a legal argument for insisting you protect the deposit before you even receive it, but they are likely protecting themselves from any future claim.

      Has the agent secured the deposit themselves yet?. The clock will be ticking and you need to get this sorted now. The deposit neither belongs to you nor the agent and one of you needs to arrange it's security.

      Why not agree that the agent can secure the deposit but the first months rent is sent to you immediately?

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        #4
        If it's nearing the 30 day mark or if it has passed, I would advise the agent to return the deposit to the tenant advising that it should have been paid direct to yourself.

        This should protect you from any future penalty claim but will then leave you to claim the deposit from the tenant once again.

        If you do this, keep copies of all correspondance and provide a receipt for the exact date you recieved the deposit from the tenant

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