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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 28240
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I rented a short let flat via Airbnb and the rent monthly is

Customer Question

Hi, I rented a short let flat via Airbnb and the rent monthly is £2200 and the deposit is £1100. I have paid full month rent and deposit by cash without any agreement and contract . And I have contract landlord the same day I paid told him I might want to cancel and I have been told he will charge my full deposit which is £1100 . But at the time I haven’t moved in and there is only verbal agreement instead of written agreement between us . So I was wondering in this situation am I still have right to cancel it by minimum lose ?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Fully paid but no paperwork
JA: Where is the flat located?
Customer: London
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine what a difficult position it must be. I will certainly try to clarify your options.

from what you say, the letting was via Airbnb so would I be correct to assume it was completed online please? Or did you contact the landlord and conclude an agreement vebally "off Airbnb"?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi, I think in this situation is off Airbnb
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.
  1. Thanks so the payment was not made through Airbnb website but rather you contacted the landlord and arranged to pay him direct?
  2. if so, was any email or terms exchange as to what you were paying for - e.g. the dates you wanted to rent etc or was the whole thing verbal only?
  3. When is/was the start date for the occupancy?
  4. Is the accommodation available in view of the current lockdown regulations? Is it lawful for you to occupy the same? I am not certain if the accommodation is located in this country or overseas
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi. We have talked via Facebook messager / the rent start 18th of Feb which is yesterday / initial I was gonna find somewhere to stay for couple of months and they find me through Facebook abs told me it’s one bedroom and let me meet in the property and I didn’t retaliate that property is like one of the room in the whole hotel , at the time I already paid (because I don’t want to view more place as it’s still lockdown ). On my way drive home I realised this is a bit wrong so I contacted him and he said the minimum I have to stay is two months otherwise I have to lose my contract,I was big shocked and in the end we agree one month instead cos I don’t want to lose my deposits .
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
They even told me there could be people come to view the flat ( actually it’s like a studio)
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I have checked the, viewing and renting is legal now even lockdown .
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

Thank you. In deed if you plan to use the property as a residence this would be legal. I was not certain if this was for a holiday which would not and this would have been potential grounds to claim a refund but from what you say this will not apply.

in relation to what you say, did you make clear that it was important that you needed to stay for at least two months. If so did they confirm that was possible?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
for my work purpose I have told them I minimum need to stay three months and we have agreed that will make a contract in the beginning . I paid cash before he made the contract and told him that I have changed my mind and he told me the minimum stay is one month but I have to give him one month notice which mean I have to stay two months otherwise I will have no deposit back . And I asked him is the deposit gonna be with DPS, he said no because the rent is less that three month now . however I just rent from yesterday so I said I can give you notice now that I am moving out in a month time , and he agreed but said so let’s not making any contract or agreement. and he told me during this time he might have people to come to view , and I very much changed my mind now don’t want to stay the property anymore.
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

Thank you. Finally what was the reason you changed your mind?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
The place is very small and no WiFi also I am bit concerns that there will constantly people to come to view
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

Thank you. Were you made aware that people would be entering for viewings when you contracted?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
No , I didn’t
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

thank you. The starting point is there is no right of cancellation in respect of contracts for lettings so once you make a contract it is binding on the parties unless the parties agree to rescind ( cancel) the contract or if you can show grounds for rescinding the contract unilaterally.

from what you describe, the only grounds you may be able to show would be that you understood that you would have exclusive occupation of the property during your occupation but after making the contract, the landlord sought to introduce a term allowing for access for viewings and so on. You can construct an argument that this is a fundamental change to the basis of the agreement you understood you are entering into and as such, is grounds for recession.

the effectiveness of your argument will turn in no small part upon any evidence there is for or to the contrary that the term for third party viewings was introduced by the landlord after you made your agreement.

in terms of recovering your monies,, you would initially need to set out the basis for your claim for a refund as above and then, if you paid by credit or debit card, if the landlord refuses too refund your deposit, you could seek a charge back process whereby your card issuer disputes the charge on the above grounds or if you pay by bank transfer, may necessitate a claim in the County Court. if the landlord can demonstrate that on balance you were aware of this condition for access, then this would severely prejudice the success of any potential claim: