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If the tenancy agreement has not been signed, you can ask the deposit to be refunded back, if the Landlord refuses to hand it back then you can initiate small claim court proceeding aginst him
You can initiate court proceedings. it will be a small claim if you are claiming less than £10,000 from your landlord
Going to court should be your last resort. Before you start a court claim, you must send your landlord a letter before action, demanding back the deposit
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There is no requirement of a written tenancy agreement if the parties intended to start the tenancy and basic conditions of the tenancy have been agreed.
Would it be possible to know the content of those email,
Could you also confirm if the deposit given as the holding deposit or tenancy security deposit or advance payment of rent?
As it would be a joint tenancy, in which all tenants are severally and jointly liable for the rents and other costs of the Tenancy Agreements, even if one of the tenant leaves, it does not terminate the tenancy for rest of the tenants.
Yes,I would also suggest getting a fourth tenant and continue with the tenancy.
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But as I explained above, it is a joint-tenancy, even if one of them leaves, rest of the tenants can not escape their liability as under a joint tenancy , all tenants are severally and jointly responsible. So even the 4th tenant left , the other 3 are still bound under it.
Thank you and all the best.