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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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We paid a holding deposit rental property that

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Hello, we paid a holding deposit for a rental property that we had viewed while the previous tenant still lived there. After they moved out and before our move, we went into the house with a person from the letting agency to take some measurements for furniture. We noticed that there was dirt on the carpets and in the kitchen sink, and half of all the bulbs were missing or not working. The agency refuses to clean the house before we move in. They also denied us a chance to look at the tenancy areement upfront, saying that "that wasn't how they did it". They will only present the contract on the day we're supposed to sign it and pay the first rent. We don't want to proceed with the agency under these cisrumstances, but having signed an acknowledgement that the holding deposit is non-refundable we feel trapped. Can you please advise if there's any action we can take to not go ahead with the deal and get our deposit back, or at least make the agency clean the house and fix things? Many thanks, ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Have you signed the agreement please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Not yet. We only signed an application.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
We received a question in return which implies that the solicitor has not read what we wrote.
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
I think you are in a difficult position. I take it there was not a contract about the holding deposit itself as opposed to the tenancy agreement. If not I don't think you will be bale to get your money back.
The landlords general legal obligations to repair the premises relate to keeping the structure and exterior in good repair, and to ensuring the heating and sanitary systems work. There is no duty in a landlord to keep a premises clean at time of letting or in good condition generally.
This is clearly an abusive practice by the letting agents but I can't see a cause of action yo can bring unless they have made false representations verbally about the state of the flat which induced you to pay the deposit. If they did then you might have an action for re-imbursement of the deposit.
So your options may be (1) that you either move in and tidy it up yourself (or peruse the tenancy agreement when you get it to see if you have been granted any rights in excess of your rights under the general law); or (2) if here has been a misrep then you may be able claim back your deposit.
I will be on and off this site today but if you have follow up questions I will answer when I can.
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 793
Experience: Experienced solicitor
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