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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71051
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Me and my girlfriend have recently pulled out of a moving into

Customer Question

Me and my girlfriend have recently pulled out of a moving into a property in September (we're both students), we both paid £340 as a deposit that would translate into our 1st month's rent. We are no longer moving in, and neither of us has signed a contract but the landlord is refusing to pay the deposit back, do we have any legal grounds for getting our deposit back?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank your for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

When did you pay the deposit?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My girlfriend paid £340 at the start of february. I paid £150 on the 2nd of february, and a further £170 on the 18th June.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry but its bad news.

You are locked into a contract. There's no way around it. You have paid a deposit which amounts to acceptance of the contract. Regardless of whether you signed or not, you paid a deposit.

Unfortunately if you refused to move in then that is a breach of contract.

He is under an obligation to mitigate his loss by seeking another tenant which should be possible given that you have given him at least six weeks notice. If he does find another tenant then he has to return your funds but that is the offer he is making anyway.

Unfortunately of he cannot find a replacement tenant then he is free to keep your deposit I'm afraid.

I'm very sorry but thats your position

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If the amount we paid is not explicitly stated as being a deposit, or holding deposit but instead as the 1st months rent paid in advance - does that change the law? I've just read through the (unsigned) contract and it states that there is no deposit, and I remember him saying he doesn't need a deposit but does need the 1st months rent.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

What ever you paid should be refunded if he finds another tenant.