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Hello, I am a solicitor with more than 15 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
What sort of deposit did you pay?
If the tenancy has been signed by both sides then the landlord can not mess around. If he is messing around with the terms of the tenancy in contradiction of terms that were the subject of representations then you should be able to pull out and get your deposit back. You will not be able to force any terms on the landlord if the tenancy has not been signed yet.
It sounds like a clear breach of contract and you could threaten to commence legal action seeking an order for specific performance of the contract. I assume that the landlord is shortening the length of the tenancy and the length of the tenancy is important to you.
If the contact i signed and the money paid to his agent (who presumably is authorised to accept payment on his behalf).
When is the commencement date of the tenancy?
OK so you want to physically enter the premises even without the keys on 1st December?
If the tenancy has been signed by both sides by an authorised person, if the deposit has been paid and the first instalment of rent has been paid to someone who can accept it then you have the right to commence occupation on day 1 of the tenancy.
You could enter by forcing entry but if there is any break int the chain above then you will not have the right to do so.
There would be a risk of an allegation of criminal damage against you.
If you do this you will probably want a locksmith to change the locks for you.
You might want to put in writing that you consider that there is a binding tenancy and that you will be moving in on the day. Further, that if you need to incur locksmiths costs then you will expect the landlord to pay those costs.
On the other hand do you really want this guy to be your landlord when he is trying to go back on the agreement already?
You need to check what paperwork you have to make sure that the Agent was properly instructed. They probably are but look for them telling you in writing that they are the agents authorised to accept payments on behalf of the landlord.
This may be in the tenancy agreement or in correspondence, look for a clause in the tenancy stating who notices can be served on as well.
You are probably OK to enter the property then but warn them of your intentions in advance.
None, assuming the points set out above.
He will have committed a criminal offence of unlawful eviction and you should call the police. Alternatively you can bring an action for unlawful eviction in the county court to seek an injunction to get back in and for compensation.
This could make things more messy and you should not exercise your self help remedy. This could be impossible to sort out except at great expense before you want to move in. It may be that the best thing to do would be to walk away from this crook.