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ChrisB4147
ChrisB4147,
Category: Property Law
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Paid a deposit for a property, tenants have signed the

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Paid a deposit for a property, tenants have signed the contract but the landlord has not. Meant to be exchanging keys in less than 24 hours and received a call saying the landlord has decided to sell the property instead. Is he allowed to do this? As in 11 days we will now be homeless.
JA: What steps have been taken so far? Has any paperwork been prepared or filed?
Customer: Signed tenancy agreement
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Coulsdon
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: i don’t think so

Hi, thanks for the question.  I’m Chris and I’m a Solicitor in litigation matters. I will be happy to assist you and hope to provide a full response as quickly as possible.

This is a question and answer service rather than an instant chat service, and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can.

Sorry to hear about the situation you are in. I would say that there is an agreement for the tenancy even though the landlord hasn’t signed it. There is clear intention of you have signed and the deposit paid. When is the agreement meant to start from?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you for your quick response.
The agreement is meant to start as of tomorrow!

It’s unbelievable. The agent told you today?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
at 16:30 they informed my mum by email about this

Do you have a copy of the agreement you signed?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It was signed digitally when I try to enter it again it just says “this document has already been signed” but I’m confident that the agency will have a copy of it

I wonder if it has a start date on it. Would you have got a copy email to you when you digitally signed it? My view is that there is clearly a claim here. I think you need to be very direct with the agent and tell them that if you don’t take up the tenancy in accordance with what you have signed and in accordance with the implied agreement from the landlord that you will sue them.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
There was a start date on the agreement. Did not receive a copy of the agreement by email. Okay that’s a slight relief I guess. Just extremely stressful as if it’s not upheld my family will have to split up!
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
What can we claim?

Damages for your loss. Before we go down discussing that, I think you need to find out what the agent says first thing in the morning.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
File attached (71QT3M3)
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Managed to get access to the tenancy agreement

Have you paid the 6 months rent and the deposit?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
No as we were told we didn’t have to pay it till tomorrow morning. We have paid a £500 holding fee

I think the contract has been offered, accepted and consideration paid. The three elements for a contract. Tell this to the agent tomorrow.

I hope all goes well with the agent. Simply reply back if you require additional information and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions.  Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Finally got through to the estate agent dealing with our tenancy. She said she is trying to contact the landlord and will update us as soon as she can and has assured us she will do her best to get him to follow through with the said agreement. We said we have sought legal advice and mentioned what you had told us and she said she will use such information as a last resort. I will update you as soon as we have an update. Thank you for your help so far!

Good news so far.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Just received a call from the agency and the landlord is still saying no. Where do we go from here?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
He is saying no as the property is apparently under shared ownership with his father and has decided he wants to sell so is now refusing to allow us to move in

You are going to have to find another place.  You have a duty to mitigate your loss.  That will be your first important matter you need to deal with.  Thereafter, you can sue him for your damages.

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