UK Property Law
Get UK Property Law Questions Answered by Experts
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.