Money back from letting agents?
December 2, 2012 3:24 PM Subscribe
UK Rental filter [posted for a friend]: My friend paid the deposit + first month's rent for an apartment, but has yet to sign the lease; his circumstances have changed suddenly and he now wants to back out - can he get his money back?
posted by gmb to Law & Government (5 answers total)
My friend was supposed to sign the lease and move in to the new place on December 1st, and since that was a Saturday was asked to provide the first month's rent + deposit (£1500 in total) beforehand by direct bank transfer.
On Friday night, my friend's father was taken severely ill. This means that he's needed to travel back to his home town, some 200 miles away from his new place. My friend's a freelance worker and can easily shift locations for work purposes, but he doesn't know how long he'll be down there - quite possibly for some months to come.
Naturally, this all means that a) He hasn't signed the lease yet - he never went into the agent's to pick up the keys - and b) He'd like not to sign the lease and to get his money back - he doesn't know when he'll be ready to move to a new place and he's got friends (including me) happy and willing to put his stuff in storage until he can finally get round to moving.
My friend's question is this: under UK law does he have the right to get his money back without repercussions? He submitted an application form, which warns against defaulting on his tenancy obligations, and he paid a separate admin / holding fee when he did so (£150). But he's never actually signed a lease. At the moment my friend's out of pocket to the tune of £1650; is there any chance he can get the deposit and first month's rent back?