Hello, my name is Jim and I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.
They cannot take your holding deposit in your situation. The only time they can is if you decided not to go ahead with the property, mislead the landlord or agency, or failed an immigration check. Apart from that, they have to return it to you.
You should therefore contact Trading Standards on 03454 040506. If they can help then they will contact the agency and hopefully this will resolve the matter and you will be reimbursed. If not then you will need to fill out the attached form and send it to :
HM Courts & Tribunals Service First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
Residential Property 1st Floor
10 Alfred Place
London, WC1E 7LR
The Tribunal will then consider the written evidence and if the matter is capable of being decided on paper then you will receive the decision. No fee is payable upon filing this form. However, if the Tribunal says that a hearing is required, a fee of £200 is payable (which is refundable if the case goes in your favour).
I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (the top right of your screen & then click “submit”), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.