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Landlords and Agents can ask for holding deposit ( 1 week's rent )to reserve a property. Tenant should get the money back if the landlord decides not to rent to you. However, if the tenant backs out after reserving the property, then they lose the holding deposit.
If the main terms of the tenancy agreement is confirmed, even if it is not yet signed, the tenancy agreement can be enforced .
So, once the tenancy agreement is confirmed, then Landlord can chase the tenant for the rent payments till the expiry of the fixed term.
If the Tenant is not looking to continue with the tenancy , then he/she should speak with the Landlord for the surrender of his tenancy. Landlord can re-market the property, and existing tenant can surrender the tenancy in the favour of the new replacement tenant . The existing tenant remain liable for rent payments till the tenancy is taken over by the new tenant.
I trust this helps.
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