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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My daughter was due to move into a rental property on the 1st

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My daughter was due to move into a rental property on the 1st September but is now being told by the letting agents that she can't because the previous tenants haven't moved out. The agents are unable to tell her when she can move in. She has paid admin fees and paid a deposit and the signed a tenancy agreement. Is she within her rights to ask for the monies she has already paid to be returned to her and the contract cancelled?
Many thanks
1. Yes, your daughter can terminate the rental agreement and seek all of her money back in the circumstances. Essentially, it is a fundamental term of the letting arrangement that the premises be available when the lease commences. Absent vacant possession, your daughter is entitled to bring the letting arrangement to an end and to seek alternative accommodation. It was incorrect of the letting agent to take a deposit from your daughter without being in a position to provide vacant possession. This should not have happened. Now that the letting agency are unable to fulfil their side of the bargain your daughter can bring the letting agreement to an end. Proper practice would have been to leave an interval between the ending of one tenancy and the beginning of another, if only to clean and carry out any necessary repairs to the premises. Here letting agents and the owners acted improperly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How would she go about getting her money back? Is she able to ask the letting agency to reimburse her immediately?

2. Yes, your daughter is able to get her money back immediately. She should effectively serve notice on the letting agency bringing the tenancy agreement to an end and in the letter seek the return of her deposit immediately, on the basis of breach of a fundamental term of the letting agreement, namely, the landlord & letting agency's obligation to provide vacant possession of the property. Be aware that all letting agents are now subject to the Property Ombudsman's scheme. So if she has a complaint about not immediately getting her money back, she can immediately seek redress under this scheme
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