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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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There, I was in the process of renting a property. One

Customer Question

Hi There,
I was in the process of renting a property.
One person has signed the tenancy agreement but the other hasn't. After further analysing the contract a stipulation was seen. This stipulation states us not to use part of the property. Therefore, the other tenant didn't sign and I wish to back out too.
The property was advertised with a roof terrace. Then the estate agent proceeded to show us the roof terrace. Upon placing a holding deposit without the knowledge, we then received the tenancy agreement saying the roof terrace was strictly prohibited.
Unfortunately one person signed, before seeing this clause.
They were acting very aggressively trying us to force signature.
They stated (although they already accepted our holding deposit), pressuring the other tenant to sign in case another offer is accepted by the landlord.
Continuing, they then said if we didn't respond to their demands by 2pm on today's date we have sacrificed our deposit. We informed trading standards who said this is illegal( behaviour, false advertising and threats, you can't advertise a roof terrace for it then not be included in the tenancy agreement. They continued to state this is at the request of the landlord. At this stage we we're unaware it was prohibited, therefore the landlord should also be liable, the estate shouldn't of accepted our holding deposit if he knew this was off limits)
Latterly, we received an email saying with sacrificed our deposit because we didn't agree to terms in the contract, after a phone call saying we wish not to continue.
The application was a dual tenancy, and one person didn't sign the tenancy agreement.
They threatened that because one person signed you're liable.
Surely this isn't the case? I can't set up a joint bank account without the other party signing, so surely they can't state this. This agreement is null.
Please can someone help, as the holding deposit is 2 weeks rent = £1190
A lot of money please help.
Thanks
Tommy
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Jo,Have you read my query?Thanks,Tommy
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Yes, it doesn't contain a question that I can see?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Jo,Sorry about that.Can they keep the holding deposit?Based on the information I have given.Thanks,
Tommy
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Also, what legal rights do I have?Can they enforce or keep the holding deposit based on the principles that only one tenant has signed the agreement?The property was falsely advertised? Can they show tenants around then prohibit the use?ThanksTommy
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Also, is the landlord liable for stating telling the estate agents to advertise the property as having a roof terrace?Thanks, ***** ***** the breakdown in messaging.Regards,Tommy
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
You cannot back out of the agreement on this basis. Come what may, you have signed an agreement.There is a debate over whether the non signing person can escape. Probably they would just pursue the person who did sign for everything.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
The starting point is that they would have a claim for the holding deposit and at least one month in rent.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
However, they cannot deny you access to the roof terrace. Unless it was specifically advertised as a property without a roof terrace they cannot deny you access.They cannot show you a clause after signing that is in any way enforceable.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Jo,I'm slightly confused.So, although something was clearly advertised of having a roof terrace.It wasn't made aware to us, the tenancy agreement came through. I didn't see the clause and foolishly signed.They have advertised us pictures and showed us out on the roof terrace.And because I have signed one part of the tenancy agreement, and wish not to pursue on this basis. I'm liable?This is what I asked the agency.SPECIAL CLAUSES
The roof terrace is unofficial and not to be usedI see that following my query on the safety of the roof terrace, a clause has been added stating that we are not to use it. The property has been advertised as having a roof terrace as one of the main selling points and we were shown this on the viewing as something that we could use. We have not been told at any time that the terrace has become unavailable and this fact has just been tagged onto the end of the tenancy agreement. Can you please explain?Also not all fees were outlined on their website, then they sent the following email to us:Good morning chaps,Ok so the managing agents have come back to us and confirmed that the inventory check out will be £165(this is inclusive of VAT), as Ashely explained on the phone yesterday, this is done to protect your deposit and highlight any areas of concern that you may or may not have in the property before you take and eliminate discrepancies at the end of the tenancy.Glenn, we are still waiting on you to sign the tenancy agreement, this needs to be done asap as managing agents will not sign tenancy until they have completed from tenants(which is quite normal) and all the while, other agents are still showing this apartment to prospective applicants.What I don’t want is one of these agents getting an offer of £605pw later on today, move in on Monday next week and the landlord pulling out of this agreed let with you, trust me this happens a lot.Can you please sign now so we can get the landlord signed up and property secured for you.ThanksTommy
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Well, as I have said really. Yes, you are bound.No, they cannot deny you access.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Okay.To make this clear.We signed a tenancy acceptance letter for a holding deposit, stating fees and rental amount, after we signed, the rent amount increased and a new fee was added. We wan't the deposit back based on the agreement has changed.We're stating breach of contract, they're refusing to return the holding deposit.Just to clarify, the landlord has not signed the tenancy agreement.Thanks,Tommy
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
There is no prospect of that. You are bound.However, they cannot vary the agreement. You are only bound to what you signed.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Could you elaborate more on the point:However, they cannot vary the agreement. You are only bound to what you signed.So regardless of the landlord not signing the agreement or the other party. This contract is perfectly liable for myself. Surely, that can't happen.The contract states this:As both parties are yet to sign.This agreement contains the terms and obligations of the tenancy. It sets out the promises made by the landlord to the
tenant and by the tenant to the landlord. These promises will be legally binding once the agreement has been signed by
both parties and then dated. You should read it carefully to ensure it contains everything you want and nothing that you
are not prepared to agree to. Whilst every attempt has been made to compose this agreement using plain and intelligible
language, it inevitably contains some legal terms or references.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Yes, it can happen and it is binding.If you have signed a contract you are bound by it. It is only evidence of what is agreed anyway. The paper document need not exist at all for a binding contract.

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