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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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We live overseas and we have an agent taking of renting out

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We live overseas and we have an agent taking of renting out our home. He had a prospective tenant lined up who has paid 8 weeks holding deposit (7K UKP). The rental contract was due to be signed on Friday 19th September and the prospective tenant cancelled the appointment. Since then the agent has been unable to make contact with the gentlemen.
I asked the agent what happens to the deposit and he says it is his admin fee. Our contract with the agent does not cover this scenario. What are the legal implications here ie does he get the 7K holding deposit while acting on our behalf?
There are two issues here:

1) the prospective tenant may ask for the refund of their deposit and unless they agreed that the deposit was non refundable in the event that they did not sign the tenancy agreement by 19th September, the money should be refunded back to this person if they ask for it;

2)as you had no agreement with the agent that they are entitled to keep the holding deposit, you should ask for the money to be paid to you and it seems that the agent has seen this as an opportunity to enrich himself without merit.

As the landlord, you are the principle and therefore ultimately liable and the agent merely acts on your behalf.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes your reply I has confirmed what I had thought. I am just waiting for my husband to get home from a meeting to see if we have any other questions. I hope you don't mind or can I rate and get back to you under this umbrella. I did write to the agent and this is his explanation bearing in mind we pay 8% letting fee:

The money that a client puts down to secure the property is a cost to cover the administration i.e. the referencing, the contracts, the credit check and our time etc. Remember we get charged by the company that conducts all the referencing checks.

Before the move in the tenant would pay the remainder of the funds i.e. the first months rent and the main delapidations deposit.

As such there will be no money paid to the owner because we have not received any rent."



The agents position is incorrect and it is evident that they are out to rip you off.
The agent may be entitled to their costs of referencing etc but these are nowhere near the £7000 being withheld.
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