Were the changes to the tenancy agreement agreed before or after the tenant paid the holding deposit?
Okay, how do the terms differ following your verbal discussions?
After you received the draft what changes in the terms of the tenancy agreement did you negotiate with the agent?
Which specific terms are in dispute/negotiation?
You have a right to a property in repair which circumvents any provision to the contrary in the agreement, so the landlord cannot refuse to repair certain fundamental things in the property. Note this is different to the furnishings in the property.
If you viewed the property and certain furnishings were present but have now been taken away then you may have a case to resist the retention of the holding deposit by the landlord.
As to furnishings, you and landlord should attempt to agree a list of these and make sure you sign in writing what you agree.
If there are terms in the tenancy agreement that are inconsistent - ie reference to a superior lease where none exist - then they should be taken out but if they are not then a Court would just sever them from the tenancy agreement so that they have no effect on the tenancy agreement as a whole.
Go back to the agent, ask for clarity on the furnishings and for amendments to be made to the tenancy agreement, state that you presume it is only a word document and so not difficult to amend. If he gets difficult then say that you want the tenancy and are committed but will dispute the retention of the holding deposit on the basis that it was misrepresented to you.
It depends on what was the understanding when you paid the holding deposit, if the agent marketed it to you either by stating that it came with the furnishings the landlord wishes to take or showed you the furnishing when you visited it then you may be able to resist the retention of the holding deposit. You would have to prove the understanding though and if the sum is not that high then it may not be wort litigating over and instead writing it off as a learning experience for future use.
If the above does not apply then the agent is probably entitled to retain the deposit.
Hope this clarifies, if so please click accept.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).