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Question

England | Start of a Tenancy (England) | Tenant Fees (England)

Tenant withdrawing from a tenancy

16 Jul 2021 | 1 comment

A tenant we referenced (and passed) has informed us he has had problems at work and lost his job. He and his partner now wish to withdraw from the tenancy which is due to start in just over a weeks time. He has already paid a holding deposit and also the first months rent and deposit. The tenancy agreement was to be signed in 5e next few days.

We informed them in writing that if they provided false information or withdrew before the tenancy start date, that we would retain their holding deposit, which I believe we are entitled to do.

Firstly are we correct in that assumption regarding retaining their deposit and in addition are we entitled to any other costs associated with now having to potentially readvertise the property, reference more prospective tenants and guarantors and potential loss of rent from any unoccupied periods due to the likely delay in filling the rental (or indeed any other costs you may think we can claim).

All a long shot, just wanted to know the exact legal allowances in this situation.

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    All you can retain is the holding deposit which must have been a maximum of one weeks rent.

    You should promptly return the first rent and tenancy deposit because you’re not allowed to take those payments until after a tenancy has been signed. The only thing permitted under the Tenant Fees Act was the holding deposit.

    In order to retain the holding deposit, you must send a notice to the tenant within 7 days of them withdrawing otherwise you can’t retain it. We have a template available here.

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