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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I let a property. In March a lady agreed to take the property

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I let a property. In March a lady agreed to take the property from May 1. I asked for a deposit of £595. She gave me £300 and said she would pay the rest ASAP. I said that this money would "hold" the property until the rest of the deposit was paid and we would fill out the tenancy agreement. At the end of April I rang to ask what was happening. She said her house sale had not completed and it would take another 6 to 8 weeks to sort out. She said that she would hurry up her solicitors along and ring me next week with a progress update.two weeks later still no call. I assumed she didn't want the property and re advertised . It is now end of May and I still haven't any date. I have another tenant who has agreed to take the property. Due to this lady not keeping her agreement I have lost a months rent and have to pay council tax on an empty property. Total £690.00 out of pocket. Can I keep the lady's £300 as she has not kept her part of our verbal agreement. Ie paying full deposit and not moving in when she said
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask if you agreed that the deposit would be non refundable in the event that she did not proceed or was nothing discussed in this respect please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I said to her that I'd been let down in the past and needed a deposit as I d been out of pocket before when let down by a prospective tenant. I said that when the full £595.00 had been paid this would count as her deposit in case of breakages at the end of the tenancy. I said until this was paid in full and the first month rent was collected this money was to protect me in case of her not going ahead. She didn't move in or pay any more or even ring me till may 14. Therefore I couldn't afford to lose any more cash so got another tenant. I had others who wished to take the property from May 1 and declined them as I already said she could have it
thank you. That would appear to be sufficient to strongly imply that the deposit would be non-refundable. Ideally, this agreement would have been made in writing by exchange of email or the signing of the short agreement in this respect specifying that the deposit was a holding deposit to hold the property until [date] and that should she decide not to proceed by that date, the deposit would be non-refundable but should she do so, the deposit would form part of the damage deposit for the property. If you decide to use holding deposits in the future, it would be worth putting together a brief paragraph along the above lines and either asking a prospective tenant to sign it will agree the terms by email.That you have not done so in this case does not preclude you keeping the deposit but it doesn't open the that the lady will dispute that the deposit is non-refundable. If she did so, there is a risk that she may issue proceedings in the County Court to recover the money arguing that it was not agreed that the deposit would be non-refundable and you would have the opportunity to defend any claim arguing that it was. Because there is nothing agreed in writing, it would be a case of your word against the tenant's word but in the circumstances, there is in my view better than 50% chance that the judge would conclude that the deposit was at least in large part agreed to be non-refundable as you can demonstrate that you have suffered losses and accordingly, such a conclusion is not difficult to imply for the court.Finally, in terms of giving the property to a third party, it is first necessary to notify the lady that had time has run out and ideally giving hope one final short opportunity to take the property - 24 hours should be sufficient. if she does not respond does not sign a tenancy agreement by the deadline you impose, the property can be let to a third party. If you decide not to give her any further deadline, this is not cause great difficulty as you have not agreed a tenancy agreement with the original tenant but if you have the opportunity to provide a further short period, it is likely to go to your credit should she dispute the issue with regards ***** ***** holding deposit as above.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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