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letting agent not providing contract

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« on: September 16, 2019, 01:15:49 PM »

18 days ago, I have found a property to potentially rent. I paid the 1 week holding deposit, and provided my bank statements and passport details as references. Since then, I haven't heard anything from the letting agent for 2 weeks, no one contacted me to sign a contract. I wasn't even sure if the landlord was happy to accept me as a tenant. And today I received a phone call from the letting agent to ask if I have arranged to move in to the property today or not.

I explained that I had been waiting for 2 weeks to send a contract and if the landlord is happy to rent the property to me, and the agent said their company had been waiting for me for 2 weeks as well to go to their office anytime to sign the contract, while I had absolutely no notice from them before.

Is this normal? Is a letting agent supposed to contact me once the contract is ready?

Due to poor managements of this company, I believe it's not a wise decision to rent with this company. What should I do now?
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 02:36:25 PM »

Why would you wait for 2 weeks?

Didn't it matter to you?

Of course it's not normal. But you should know that, yourself, you don't to ask stranger whether that's normal or not. You already know. But you appear to have sat back and just... waited? Maybe you're not ready, yourself? If something matters to a person I find that they chase it... you can't expect the Agent to chase you (you've paid the Holding Deposit - that's all safe-and-sound for them) and they can be as incompetent as you expect... or they can surprise you with their levels of incompetence... but, my point is, why didn't you do anything?

By "contract being ready"... for an Agent... that means changing a name or two, a date, an address on a template... that's about it. They're not hand-crafting you something specific. It was 'ready' all the time, probably...

If you pull out you'll lose your Holding Deposit.
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 02:58:28 PM »

If you pull out you'll lose your Holding Deposit.

The agent/landlord must repay the holding deposit in this case per the Tenant Fees Act 2019 unless it's being used towards a tenancy deposit or first payment of rent.
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 03:44:32 PM »

Why in this case? If the Tenant decides not to proceed, I mean? That is what the OP is mulling-over, isn't it?

"You can only retain a tenant’s holding deposit if they provide false or misleading information which reasonably affects your decision to let the property to them (i.e. calls into question their suitability as a tenant, this can include their behaviour in providing the false or misleading information), they fail a Right to Rent check, withdraw from the proposed agreement (decide not to let) or fail to take all reasonable steps to enter an agreement (i.e. responding to reasonable requests for information required to progress the agreement) when the landlord and/or agent has done so. Where you wish to retain the holding deposit, you must set out in writing the reason for this within 7 days of deciding not to enter the agreement or the ‘deadline for agreement’."

Also, potentially, the OP's complete radio silence for around 2 weeks would call into question their suitability as a Tenant, for me.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 03:46:23 PM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 04:01:41 PM »

The 'deadline for agreement' is "fifteenth day of the period beginning with the day on which the landlord or letting agent receives the holding deposit". If it has already been two weeks, the exception for tenant withdrawing before the deadline for agreement doesn't apply. The other relevant exception requires the landlord and letting agent to take "all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement before that date" (as well as the tenant failing to do so). Just the tenant failing to do so isn't enough, and I would argue that radio silence from the agent during the period isn't enough even if say the agent had made it clear to the tenant when the deposit was taken that the tenant should go to their office to sign the contract when they're free.

EDIT: I agree with you about wondering why OP didn't contact the agent for two weeks.....
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 04:04:27 PM »

The 'deadline for agreement' is "fifteenth day of the period beginning with the day on which the landlord or letting agent receives the holding deposit".

Thanks, the thing I'd read had "usually" there... "The ‘deadline for agreement’ for both parties is usually 15 days after a holding deposit has been received by a landlord or agent (unless otherwise agreed in writing)." and I hate those words 'cos they give rise to uncertainty.

I guess plenty of folk (Landlords, Agents, even Tenants) are still getting their heads around all of this.
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