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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My daughter was part of a houseshare last year and the deposit

Resolved Question:

My daughter was part of a houseshare last year and the deposit has been paid back to the lead tenant holder who is now refusing to release the money to her. The deposits were paid seperatley so should the managing agent reimbursed each individual.
Secondly, the same group were due to move into another house last month but as i was unhappy with the health and safety of the house, I refuse to let my daughter move in. I advised the agency with whom my daughter signed the contract. The other parents are now threatening legal action against my daughter for her part of the rent. Is my contract with them or the letting agents. The original deposit they refuse to release as they say its part of the same group contract??
Any advice appreciated.
namy thanks,
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.

Hi Sue,


Can you confirm that what tenancy agreements/other contracts you have actually signed ( one tenancy agreement for the old property, one for the new property? Any others?)

When they refer to a "group contract" are they referring to an actual document?



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi yes, two seperate agreement each with a different letting agency.

I cant lay my hands on the contract for the recent propert but could probably get a copy. all names of tenants were on the contract. it did state that the keys wouldnt be released unless the full rental was paid so the other students have done this knowing that my daughter would not be taking up residency and now they are having trouble finding someone else to take the room.

Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.

Hi Sue,


Working under the assumption that there is no "group contract" then they are not entitled to withhold the deposit from you. If there are two separate contacts then there are two separate contractual liabilities under them.


If your daughter has contracted under the new tenancy then she will be bound to pay rent unless the property is unfit for human habitation (which would entitle her t terminate the contract). If you believe it was (unfit) then you should contact the local authority's environmental health department to request an inspection of the enviro/health standards there and if the house is a House Multiple Occupation then you should ask them to check the compliance with HMO legislation.


If the department finds it unfit for human habitation then you can terminate the tenancy (though you should certainly request this in writing from the department) and would not be liable for the rent.


If it is not unfit for human habitation then you will be liable for the rent until a replacement tenant is found. There is nothing to stop you finding a tenant to produce to the agency, is fairly good for this purpose. The agency will no doubt charge some fees to the new tenant for replacing them on the tenancy and you may choose to cover these for the tenant as the lesser of two evils.


It would be the landlord/agency who would sue for the rent initially. Liability under tenancy agreements is joint and several meaning they can sue any/all of the tenants for the arrears. The other tenants would probably be able to sue your daughter in turn if action is taken against them.


Assuming there is no "group contract" you can probably issue against the tenant holding the deposit but you may wish to see if you can get a replacement sorted first. This, along with finding out whether the property is unfit for human habitation should be your focus first.


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Kind regards,




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