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Deedy1
13-12-2005, 13:14 PM
Hi Everyone!

Here I am again with a different problem! We have been given notice on our current property and have been viewing other properties, but have specified to prospective agents and landlords that we are looking for a fairly long term let of approx. 2 years. In the past we have had houses sold out from underneath us, so this time we have told everyone involved that we would prefer a professional landlord who owns several properties, so that we don't have to keep forking out 4K every time a landlord decides to sell. We recently went to view a property, and voiced our concerns to both the landlord and the managing agent, and they assured us that there was no problem with a long term let. We decided to take the property and paid the standard £250 holding deposit. Two weeks later, we discover, purely by chance, that the property in question is up for sale. We had contacted several agencies prior to viewing this one and they informed us immediately if the properties were also up for sale, but this particular agency failed to do so.

We are now in a position where we have decided not to take the property, as we feel very uneasy at not being told by the agency that the landlord primarily wanted to sell the property, and couldn't. Logically, if a prospective buyer came along, a cash lump sum would be preferable to a rental income to the landlord and we feel it would be too risky, as we have been dumped on twice before.

The agency are now saying that we are not entitled to our £250 deposit back, despite the fact that the house was still being marketed on their website after the cheque had cleared. They are trying to claim that this has been put towards "administration costs" which consist of two electronic referencing forms (which we didn't even complete) and a letter and invoice from the agents. Can they justly hold on to our money? I don't think they can, but I'm no expert, hence my request for help from you guys!

All comments appreciated!

Thanks!

Deedy

Jennifer_M
13-12-2005, 13:39 PM
When you paid the deposit did you get a receipt saying that the deposit is non-refundable ?

Deedy1
13-12-2005, 13:47 PM
Hi Jennifer!

No, we got an invoice for all the various amounts we would have to pay, including £310.69 "administration costs" but all that is marked at the bottom of the invoice is "Less Amount Already Paid". No mention of it being non-refundable.

Thanks!

Deedy

dazalock
13-12-2005, 14:59 PM
Seems to me that you have simply paid an invoice, if you were giving this over as a deposit, you should have demanded a reciept, lesson learned. You have no option but to write to the agent and state your case and state that if the "deposit" isnt returned in 48 Hours you will a. Goto the professional body representing the agents if there is one or b. Sue for the amount in court.

Deedy1
13-12-2005, 15:28 PM
Hi there!

The deposit was paid as a "holding" deposit until we were to move in on 6th January, which, effectively means that the house was supposed to be taken off the market and no other tenants shown around. Clearly, this did not happen, but the invoice they have sent to us includes a breakdown of what was to be paid prior to moving in in January (a total of £2836) I have told the agents in no uncertain terms that we will get our solicitor involved (that did stun them for a moment or two!) and she has said she will see if we could get part of the deposit back if not all of it. I do not mind legitimate expenses, but sometimes agents and landlords alike just take the p*** as no way does sending two e-mails and a letter cost £250!!

Thanks for your comments!

Deedy

dazalock
14-12-2005, 12:35 PM
So did you get a reciept stating it was a holding deposit, if not, the agents can argue you paid an invoice. If you did, what does it say?

Deedy1
21-12-2005, 17:18 PM
Hi there!

The invoice we received was actually a breakdown of the account that we would need to pay before moving into the property in January. We received nothing that states that the deposit is non-returnable. Since my last posting, and after a very heated argument with the Agent, they have returned the full £250. Result!

Thank you again for your advice and just for being there!

Much appreciated!

Kindest Regards

Deedy