The Student Room Group

Legal holding deposit help

So me and my partner were looking for a flat- Found one £500 a month rent private renting 1 bed flat with separate lounge kitchen and bathroom (somewhat important info). Went to a viewing and its not all that good, it smells of cigarette smoke cooker needs replacing there were some holes in wall and there was no shower like stated in the AD. We paid a holding deposit because it was cheap and asked to be in contact with landlord but nope still just talking to letting agents and basically said cant do anything till we are sent inventory when we move in. Great fine whatever.

Then a major red flag they urged us to pay deposit and one month rent prior to SEEING a tenancy agreement , I we told them um no you cannot do that legally. So we had to wait . They sent the tenancy agreement today and then we find out it is not even a 12 month contract it is 10 months long until October next year, I am not listed as a tenant only my partner to which they stated it is a studio so only one person can be listed in the agreement which I call BS and it is not a studio. So I wouldn't even be legally protected and I think even in a studio you can have at least 2 tenant written into agreement.
In the actual contract they gave us they did not state there was any maximum tenant number so they cant use that excuse.

Me and my partner are very put off from this letting company and private landlord thing mainly due to the very poor etiquette asking us to pay one month and deposit before anything I just felt like they were trying to trap us because it is our first time renting and they probably know we are young.

But I just wanted to know if we have any legal grounds to get out holding deposit back if we back out now??? We have pictures and only spoke via email so we have everything in writing
Reply 2
Highly recommend having a chat with Shelter,.

It sounds like there has been some misrepresentation of the property between the time you paid the deposit and actually seeing the property, but not sure if that is enough to get your holding deposit back.

Certainly the red flags you have identified are valid red flags so keep being vigilant.
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 3
Hello thank you guys, I spoke to shelter they were so so helpful. The estate company was such a mess. It got resolved in the end (not that long ago) but I also filed a complaint to the housing scheme they are part of. Rent My Home has bade vibes, took a leap to figure out if they would be decent but they are not. Do not ever consider them

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