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Lease fell through, what is our legal rights?

(8 Posts)
Kungfumama Thu 06-Dec-12 16:35:18

We are relocating from a far away place to Herts. and flew in Nov last month especially to rent a place to house our young family from 1 Jan 2013. We rented a house through a sole agency for a property which is marketed for both rental and sale. We put in an offer, accepted by the landlord, who came back through the agency with specific terms (12 months, 6 month break clause, deposit etc). We were asked and paid 510 ukp (part goes to landlord as a holding deposit, and rest as credit referencing etc. fees). We provided all the details and referencing underway, we kept corresponding with the woman at the agency who sent me the floor plan etc to let me measure up my furniture and did more online furniture shopping as we are only a few weeks away to relocate the whole family.

Yesterday, the property agency wrote to us saying the landlord has sold the house to another party and the property is no longer available for lease?!!? And ALL they can do is to refund our deposit paid (510 ukp) and help us lease another property (no, thank you!)

This is not just unethical and unprofessional to say the least, the agency, in my opinion is ignoring our legal rights, there was indeed an agreement existed between the landlord and ourselves with clear agreed terms and conditions, and monthly rent etc. Money even changed hands. All implicit and explicit actions are strong evidence to support our claim that the landlord had an agreement with us PRIOR to agreeing with a third party to sell the house. Our position is that for someone to revoke an agreement, would be obliged to pay the notice in lieu.

We are not motivated to make money, we had a house to accommodate our family until some broke the lease and revoked the agreement. What annoys me most is the cold shoulder we are given by the agency basically saying this is what it is, tough luck, take your deposit back and let's move on. I just believe that they cannot just walk away AS IF nothing has happened.

Anyone knows what is our rights? And where can we get free or affordable help? We are now left high and dry, I don't know how we are supposed to rent a place between now and 1 Jan with Christmas in between. We are truly inconvenienced and suffered time and financial damages as a result. Thank you for any advice.

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 06-Dec-12 16:45:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kungfumama Thu 06-Dec-12 17:07:53

Hello ISeeSmallPeople: Your reply made me wanted to cry and to smile. To cry because we are now left high and dry whilst knowing someone else is cracking a bottle of champagne. It is just unethical. To smile, because your reply is wisdom rich, I wish I had met you earlier!

However, regarding your point about no contract until rent is handed over... ... didn't the holding deposit for the LL count? And the implicit and explicit actions should suggest an agreement existed?

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 06-Dec-12 17:12:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notnagging Thu 06-Dec-12 17:41:44

Unfortunate yes but you are lucky that they did refund the fees as it was not the agency's fault. Some agencies refuse to refund, even though they should. My philosophy is everything happens for a reason. Good luck finding somewhere else

specialsubject Tue 11-Dec-12 15:32:19

good news is that it is a great time to be finding a rental property as most people don't want to move until after Christmas, so you can do it.

This place has gone. Forget it. I know it is a lot of hassle but that's life. Get househunting; rightmove, zoopla etc.

do not expect much from letting agencies - and that goes for landlords too.

Kungfumama Thu 13-Dec-12 05:47:31

Thank you all for the dose of reality - happily moved on and on a short list hopefully will get a place ASAP.

EMS23 Thu 13-Dec-12 05:54:56

Where in Herts are you hoping to move to? Someone on here might be able to help?
My brother owns a lettings agency in St Albans (hoping its not the one that let you down!!). I could PM you their details.

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