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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2447
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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We have a property to let and an agent found a tenant . After some discussion over w

Customer Question

We have a property to let and an agent found a tenant for us. After some discussion over what they would like to keep in the apartment (furnished, not furnished, curtains, etc.) they signed the tenancy agreement (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) today and paid the first rent and deposit.
However while the tenant was signing, we tried to contact the agent to say that we have changed our minds. Since we have not signed the agreement are we under any legal obligation to the tenant?
The tenant claims that he has arranged painters to come and spent GBP600 on curtains.
At no point did we give the agent authority to sign on our behalf (and he didn't).
The tenant paid a holding deposit a couple of weeks ago since which time the property has been taken off the market.
I look forward to hearing back from you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 1 year ago.
Hello. Provided the document was not dated today, and the monies were paid over simply on the basis that they were paid in anticipation of completion in a few days' time, then I think the tenant would struggle to argue that he already had an agreement, oral or written. The fact he has spent money on curtains is immaterial - he jumped the gun and that's not your fault. A written tenancy only exists once signed, dated and exchanged, and money paid over. As there was a document to sign, he can't say there was a verbal tenancy. Hope this helps. WB
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your help WB. Exactly as I thought and the issue has luckily now gone away. Kind regards.

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