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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I paid a deposit and 1st months rent on a house then decided

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I paid a deposit and 1st months rent on a house then decided not to go ahead with the tenancy for various reasons. How can I get my money back? The agency have ignored my requests.
What type of contract is it?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I didn't sign a contract. On the day I was due to move in and sign the contract, I was told that there was building work going on. This was the last straw for me so I told them I did not want to go ahead with the tenancy. I paid the deposit and first month's rent the day before by bank transfer.

What type of building work?

Are you saying you paid one months' rent which you are happy to lose but you want the deposit back?

Obviously one day's notice is not sufficient.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

There was some repairs required to the roof. The house was supposed to be decorated throughout and new carpets fitted. I was told 20mins before going to collect the keys that the work was still ongoing. I had been given conflicting information from 3 different people before this, mostly about what the rent should be. I paid £740 in total which I was asked to pay in cash. However I paid by bank transfer and then found recently that the money has gone into an account belong to a different company but has the same managing director as the estate agency.


Am I entitled to all my money back or just the deposit?

How long was the work going to take?

Was the additional work just to the outside?

Also, how much is the rent?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The work was supposed to take 2 weeks. Part of the roof had collapsed and gone through the bedroom ceiling & floor through to the lounge so there was some internal repair work to be done. On the day I paid the money, I was told that the house was ready for me to move in. The next day I was told that I would have to wait until the following week.


The house was advertised at £325 pcm which the MD said was a mistake but would agree to that and review in 6 months. Another person told me that it was £440, then £395, then eventually £325. I paid a £200 application fee which I was told was part of the deposit. I then paid £540 which I thought was the remainder of the deposit and the 1st month's rent. After that payment I was told that it was not enough but not told what extra I should pay. I was also told that the application fee was not part of the deposit and was non-refundable. This was all on the day before I was due to move in.


You are almost certainly on an AST. I realise you didn't sign a contract but its inferred in other ways and that will almost certainly be the contract they intended.

They are very hard to escape generally. However, I do think you did think you did the right thing actually. Moving into a house that was not in the condition they agreed to put it would have been a mistake as then you couldn't escape.

On that basis you should have a claim for everything you paid.

Even if that fails though, whichever way you look at this, you paid more than the rent. The additional sum amounts to a deposit. Even if they say you gave notice unlawfully, you would have paid one months rent in advance and they are under a duty to find another tenant. The practical reality is that they won't find another tenant because of the disrepair of the house but they won't get away at court with holding you liable for that. Landlords have a duty to mitigate their loss by seeking another tenant and using reasonable efforts. Trying to let a house in disrepair is not a reasonable effort. So, you should be entitled to the sum of the deposit.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I did not deal with the landlord. So should I try to claim the deposit back from the agency through the small claims court?

It doesn't matter who you dealt with really.

If your contract is with the landlord then you have a claim. The agents are his agents.

If you've been dealing with them though then you should continue.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

So exactly what should I do? How do I get any money back?

Have you paid in a recordable form? Like a cheque

Delighted to continue with this but please rate my answer.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I paid by bank transfer.

Send them one letter giving them 7 days to pay.

If that fails issue here

You will get something and probably you will get the full amount