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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have agreed to rent a house through a lenting agency and

Resolved Question:

I have agreed to rent a house through a lenting agency and have had my sister sign as a guarantor.

I was due to sign the contract today but have changed my mind and do not wish to enter into the agreement.

Am I or my sister liable for any costs as no formal contract has been signed
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following using the same numbering:-
1. Did you agree that your occupation of the property would be governed by a written tenancy agreement (which you have not signed)?
2. What has your sister signed?
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1. i have paid a holding deposit and cleared referencing checks. The terms state that once this is done a move in date can be agreed and then a contract must be signed and final payment made via cleared funds


2. My sister signed a firm confirming if i missed any payments she would make these on my behalf

Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

A tenancy can be formed without being in writing, but if there terms and conditions state that a tenancy requires that a contract is signed in order to be legally enforceable then everything up to the point at which you sign the contract is “subject to contract”. This means that your contractual relations in respect of the tenancy are only formed upon your signature of the tenancy agreement and you are not bound by that point. Thus, you are free to withdraw.

If your sister has signed a guarantee document that refers to the tenancy which was proposed you would be granted then she could not be held liable to a tenancy that does not exist yet. It would only exist once you signed the tenancy agreement itself. At that point the guarantee would become legall enforceable, so if you withdrew they could sue both you and her for the rent.

Basically if their terms/conditions refer to you being required to sign a written tenancy agreement then yoru dealings are “subject to contract” and you are free to withdraw. Your sister would be unaffected by your dealings until such time as your sign the tenancy agreement.

Putting it more simplistically. they would not permit you to have occupation now without signing a written tenancy agreement so therefore there is no binding contractual agreement for a tenancy, therefore you are not bound, therefore your sister is not bound.

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Kind regards,

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