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Am I entitled to my deposit?

(2 Posts)
NeedToSleepZZZ Fri 27-May-11 09:37:08

Hop to keep this brief but I'm losing sleep over this situation and would really appreciate advice from anyone with experience in tenancy rights.
I recently found a flat through a letting agent and paid the £325.00 holding and admin fee with I understand is non-refundable. However, out of good faith I paid a further £450.00 deposit without signing a tenancy agreement or moving in. Due to a change of personal circumstances I am no longer financially able to move into the property and I informed the letting agent the day after I paid the deposit that I wouldn't be moving in and needed the deposit back. I was told that it is non-refundable as they had already carried out background checks and references but surely that is part of the admin fee I paid and am not disputing.
I was not informed at any stage that the deposit wouldn't be refunded and they say they are holding it until I sign the tenancy agreement but I am not able to do this.
I desperately need this money back as I still need to move and have reported it to my bank who are starting a procedure to dispute the payment.
Am I legally entitled to a refund of this money? I have apologised for the situation but feel I am entitled to a refund.
I hope this makes sense and that someone can tell me where I stand. The letting agent is registered with arla and I am handing in a written complaint to them today.
Thank you in advance.

NeedToSleepZZZ Fri 27-May-11 18:43:47

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