View Full Version : Deposit return after cancelling the move

11-10-2011, 13:06 PM
Hi all,

I suspect this might be a wee bit of a sticky one so I'll try not to ramble.

My (ex) partner and I were due to move into a house together on 23/10/11 and had already paid a deposit of £600 and a rental charge of £185 (10 days in advance - LL asked for rent on 20th of the month for the month following).

Obviously, this is in no way the LL's fault and I feel terrible for messing him about, but the break up has crippled me finacially and I now cannot afford to give rent to my current landlord to cover me for the rest of this month.

We had not yet signed the tenancy agreement but paid the deposit on 13/09/11.

Is there any part of it I can request back or have I totally stuffed up here?

Any advice GRATEFULLY received

11-10-2011, 13:24 PM
You have a contract to create a tenancy, if you breach that contract then the landlord may successfully claim that you are liable for any financial costs that he incurs as a direct result of your breach of contract.

Without knowing the specific circumstances, it is impossible to guess what they may be - but your own situation doesn't come into it :(

See what you can negotiate with this in mind. If you were to sue to get your deposit etc back the landlord would have to prove his costs (the damages) and he would also be under a duty to mitigate the loss - ie keep it as small as is possible.

11-10-2011, 13:50 PM
your own situation doesn't come into it :(

No, I appreciate that. I think I was just trying to justify my motives.

I have contacted him reagrding this today, but have yet to hear back. I'd be happy with a reasonable amount of the money back (surely the rent can be returned given that I haven't signed a contract or lived in the property?) but I guess we'll see what he says.

Thanks for the advice!

12-10-2011, 09:44 AM
Any other input re: rent retention welcome.... :(happy):

12-10-2011, 11:08 AM
It is not certain there is a contract here. The OP says he has not signed an agreement. That is not conclusive as it is possible that a contract was concluded orally. Without more information we can offer no opinion as to whether there is a binding contract.

What we can say though is that if there is no contract the deposit and money paid on account of rent must be refunded.

12-10-2011, 11:16 AM
Oral contract? Of course. We agreed to move in on 23/10/11. But we have not signed the tenancy agreement and we have informed him that we can no longer sign for the property given that neither one of us can afford the place on our own.

I still haven't heard anything back from him regards the next steps so I assume he is posting elsewhere on the forum (hehe).

In all seriousness, I just hope for an amicable outcome. I never intended to stuff this guy up (though, I'm fairly certain that he's not exactly on the breadline) and I appreciate that he may well ask to keep the bond + rent. I feel I could argue for the ten days rent back though in the least given that I have not occupied the property and that goes beyond the money he has potentially lost by having a couple of extra weeks of the property being empty.

12-10-2011, 11:28 AM
We agreed to move in on 23/10/11

When it comes to a contract it takes two to tango. What you agreed is only part of it. We need to know who said what and in what order.

12-10-2011, 11:42 AM
We need to know who said what and in what order.

We viewed the house. Said we liked it. Would take it. Agreed the date of 23/10/11 to move in and 20/09/11 to meet to pay the bond and first 10 days rent (from 23/10/11 - 31/10/11)

Met on 20/09/11 to complete the above.

Broke up with boyfriend. Contacted Landlord. Posted on forum.

12-10-2011, 12:06 PM
But what did the landlord say?

12-10-2011, 12:52 PM
When? Sorry. I'm not really understanding what you need to know?

When we said we wanted the house after viewing, he said that he had other people interested but wanted us to be his tenants (bet he's regretting that round about now). That, to secure the house, we would need to pay £600 deposit and we'd need to pay the ten days advance rent.

He hasn't replied to my texts or emails yet telling him that we cannot take the house now.

12-10-2011, 15:21 PM
There is a difference between:

1. "If you want to make sure I do not let to anyone else give me some cash."


2. "You need to do the deal quickly because others are interested. Give me some cash and we have a deal."

Which of the above is closer to how it went?

12-10-2011, 15:30 PM
I'd say number 2 is closest.

12-10-2011, 16:33 PM
IMO the advanced rent element and deposit should be returned. However LL could sue for breach of contract to take property ie readvertising, fees, loss of rent until new T moves in and he holds £700+ of your money, for which you may have to sue him and he would counterclaim.
Best to decide on a fair amount and offer it in 'full & final settlement' by letter (not email). He may ignore your offer so back to Court option.

12-10-2011, 17:36 PM
I am a little alarmed by his lack of response. I suspect he is readying himself for a fight, which is a real shame. I'd think we'd be happy to accept 50% back, but not if he hits us with a legal letter or threats. Then i'm afraid i'd lose sympathy and have to pursue the full amount. Lets hope it doesnt come to that. I'd like as positive as possible an outcome for all concerned.

13-10-2011, 01:25 AM
Then email him offering 33.3%. If he responds with I want 66.6%/100% you have wiggle room to offer 50% for full and final settlement
Your willingness to negotiate may benefit you in any Court case
Bird in hand etc

16-10-2011, 18:37 PM
IMO the advanced rent element and deposit should be returned. However LL could sue for breach of contract to take property

If there is no contract the moneys must be repaid. If there is a contract the landlord can sue for breach of contract and take what he has on account of damages. If his damages are less that he was paid he must refund the difference.

16-10-2011, 18:40 PM
I'd say number 2 is closest.


There is an argument, though not perhaps a good one, that, since a written agreement had been drawn up, there was no intention to create a contract until the agreement had been signed by both parties.