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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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Hi, i took a holding deposit from a tenant which agreed me

Resolved Question:

Hi, i took a holding deposit from a tenant which agreed me to remove the property from advertising whilst the property was being purchased. On the basis he would take the tenancy. The day after exchange i raised the contracts, reference requests, credit checks etc and the tenant advised he would bring a cheque for the rest of the money on the day of the start of the tenancy. I advised this wouldn't be acceptable as its not cleared funds. The tenant then decided they didn't want to progress with the tenancy. Can I legally withhold the return of their deposit?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I can assist you with your question.

tdlawyer :

Was it agreed that this was a payment to give him first refusal on being granted the tenancy?

Customer:

Yes, I removed all advertising on the basis once i completed - he would be the tennant

Customer:

However there was nothing in writing, i also didnt give him a receipt

tdlawyer :

Okay, then what he has done is purchased the right to have the first chance of acquiring the tenancy. Hence he has paid for what he got. He now chooses not to exercise that right - that's his choice. But the effect of all that is that it means you would not have to return the deposit to him.

tdlawyer :

Receipts don't matter - it sounds like he accepts he gave you the money anyway.

Customer:

but he is asking for the return of the money

Customer:

he said i offended his self esteem by asking for cleared funds prior to moving although he didnt respond with the correct references, respond to the credit check etc?

Customer:

i feel he is playing on my good nature?

Customer:

Do you think he has a case?

tdlawyer :

No, I don't see his case at all here. He got what he paid for and it's as simple as that.

tdlawyer :

Even if you did offend him, court's work on the basis of law and evidence, not how people feel about things!

Customer:

well thats what I think - he keeps asking for my home address so he can take legal action, but i am worried he will turn up at my house?

Customer:

should i not give it to him

tdlawyer :

I wouldn't give it to him.

tdlawyer :

Let him work it out for himself somehow.

tdlawyer :

You're under no obligation to give it to him.

Customer:

If he does manage to take me to court - what do i do/

tdlawyer :

you would defend in on the basis of what I mentioned above: he bought the right to first refusal, he got it - simple.

Customer:

would they argue the amount is too much

tdlawyer :

If the claim is worth more than £10,000 (which I doubt), then you should see a solicitor, but otherwise, it's small claims and you're not likely to be at risk on lawyers costs.

Customer:

£1275

Customer:

but i have paid to have credit checks done, contracts drawn up, curtains - at his request which i have all in wrtiing

tdlawyer :

No - there can be no argument the amount is too much - the court isn't concerned with that.

tdlawyer :

Does this answer your question today? Is there anything more I can assist with?

Customer:

thank you i think so!

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