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So I’m a third year student now - looking for a house. I found an amazing one but the landlord is asking for the deposit before showing me the contract. The deposit is £450, but she agreed to bring it down to £250 now and the remaining £200 at the start of September. She sent me a draft contract and then asked me for the money before I sign the actual contract.

Do you think that’s normal/okay?

The house is absolutely stunning. I’ve gone to view it with two of my friends and we love it because it’s gorgeous. But I feel like it’s too good to be true and I’m being paranoid so I’m worried about something going wrong at the eleventh hour and I don’t want that. Any help would be appreciated. Please and thank you xxx
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username2013595
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Never sign any draft or non official contract let alone hand over money. Let her know once the actual contract is ready to see you’ll be more than happy to hand over the deposit as the contract would state what your deposit itself is actually covering
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PhoenixFortune
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Moved to Student Accommodation
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So I’m a third year student now - looking for a house. I found an amazing one but the landlord is asking for the deposit before showing me the contract. The deposit is £450, but she agreed to bring it down to £250 now and the remaining £200 at the start of September. She sent me a draft contract and then asked me for the money before I sign the actual contract.

Do you think that’s normal/okay?

The house is absolutely stunning. I’ve gone to view it with two of my friends and we love it because it’s gorgeous. But I feel like it’s too good to be true and I’m being paranoid so I’m worried about something going wrong at the eleventh hour and I don’t want that. Any help would be appreciated. Please and thank you xxx
The question you need to ask here is why does she want money like this? And why is she so keen to get that money that she's prepared to discount the deposit to secure it? If this house is so stunning, then surely she wouldn't need to do this.

Your instincts are right here. Have you asked her outright why she wants money like this?
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maria_aleem
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(Original post by Reality Check)
The question you need to ask here is why does she want money like this? And why is she so keen to get that money that she's prepared to discount the deposit to secure it? If this house is so stunning, then surely she wouldn't need to do this.

Your instincts are right here. Have you asked her outright why she wants money like this?
Nah you’re definitely right. I’m so scared about this now looking at the comments. If it helps, the previous tenants are extremely happy and they really ‘sold’ the house. Like they kept on saying how amazing their landlords were etc.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by maria_aleem)
Nah you’re definitely right. I’m so scared about this now looking at the comments. If it helps, the previous tenants are extremely happy and they really ‘sold’ the house. Like they kept on saying how amazing their landlords were etc.
You know that wasn't anon, that reply?

Well that's even odder then. If the house is so great, the previous tenants so happy etc then why would she feel the need to do something so out of the ordinary, unless there was something fishy going on.

If you really want the house (which it sounds like you do), then maybe the best thing is to approach her, explain that you are uncomfortable with what she's suggesting and that it isn't really appropriate and see if she's prepared to deal with the matter in a more orthodox fashion. Certainly, don't hand over any money without a contract. You could also, at that point, ask why she feels the need to ask for money upfront.
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maria_aleem
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(Original post by Reality Check)
You know that wasn't anon, that reply?

Well that's even odder then. If the house is so great, the previous tenants so happy etc then why would she feel the need to do something so out of the ordinary, unless there was something fishy going on.

If you really want the house (which it sounds like you do), then maybe the best thing is to approach her, explain that you are uncomfortable with what she's suggesting and that it isn't really appropriate and see if she's prepared to deal with the matter in a more orthodox fashion. Certainly, don't hand over any money without a contract. You could also, at that point, ask why she feels the need to ask for money upfront.
I never intended for the post to be anonymous so I don’t mind if the reply wasn’t. 😂

No, you’re right. I have viewed the property twice and both times it was the tenants showing me around because the first time the landlord said ‘she was unwell’ and second time she said ‘just go to the property and they’d show you around.’ I’m just very concerned at this point.

I even called one of the other agencies in the area and they said to me that all of this isn’t normal. They didn’t say it as harshly but they said you should ask her what the £250 deposit is for, first and foremost and ask to meet her too. Because the thing is, she has been emailing me daily and telling me to deposit the money/make the decision ASAP...
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Reality Check
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(Original post by maria_aleem)
I never intended for the post to be anonymous so I don’t mind if the reply wasn’t. 😂

No, you’re right. I have viewed the property twice and both times it was the tenants showing me around because the first time the landlord said ‘she was unwell’ and second time she said ‘just go to the property and they’d show you around.’ I’m just very concerned at this point.

I even called one of the other agencies in the area and they said to me that all of this isn’t normal. They didn’t say it as harshly but they said you should ask her what the £250 deposit is for, first and foremost and ask to meet her too. Because the thing is, she has been emailing me daily and telling me to deposit the money/make the decision ASAP...
Yes - for me this is a big 'no'. Pressurising you to transfer the money indicates some sort of shenanigans going on. I think that even if you could resolve this issue with her, it's probably a portent for further trouble down the line and I'd look for a different property. Heartbreaking, I'm sure if the house seems perfect, but you don't want landlord troubles in your final year.
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pearlyy
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Maybe its just the holding deposit? Sometimes they ask for this before contract viewing/signing
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maria_aleem
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Yes - for me this is a big 'no'. Pressurising you to transfer the money indicates some sort of shenanigans going on. I think that even if you could resolve this issue with her, it's probably a portent for further trouble down the line and I'd look for a different property. Heartbreaking, I'm sure if the house seems perfect, but you don't want landlord troubles in your final year.
That’s what I’m thinking because every email she’s sent me has been about the money. And all her emails (I know this isn’t a big deal) except the first one, were not punctuated and were grammatically incorrect. She ended them with ‘regards thanks’ etc. That is also weird to me.

I agree with you, I think we should look for another house.
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maria_aleem
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(Original post by pearlyy)
Maybe its just the holding deposit? Sometimes they ask for this before contract viewing/signing
Are you sure though? It seems dodgy
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username4454836
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(Original post by maria_aleem)
Are you sure though? It seems dodgy
It is a thing, but you would first sign a document saying it is a holding deposit and all the terms that go with it.
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the bear
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i would forget about this. there are so many dodgy things going on. find somewhere else before you get truly shafted.
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maria_aleem
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(Original post by Decahedron)
It is a thing, but you would first sign a document saying it is a holding deposit and all the terms that go with it.
Nah, she didn’t give us any document to sign. Just asked for the deposit unfortunately.
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username4454836
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(Original post by maria_aleem)
Nah, she didn’t give us any document to sign. Just asked for the deposit unfortunately.
I wouldn't trust her at all. Has she told you what this "deposit" is for?
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maria_aleem
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(Original post by Decahedron)
I wouldn't trust her at all. Has she told you what this "deposit" is for?
Nope, she hasn’t :/
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