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Lodgers Deposit Return, didn’t sign contract

Hi,

I put down a deposit (1 month rent) for a room in a house intending to move in and stay there for 12 months. The landlord is a live in and had drafted up a lodgers agreement using I think SpareRoom template lodgers agreement (says solicitor approved) and had signed it and sent it to me, but I didn’t sign it and the landlord didn’t ask me to sign it, but implied that I would the day I moved in I think. About 2 days before my move in date, I was notified that my job start date was pushed back 2 weeks so I had asked my landlord to push my start date back 2 weeks or even a week but he refused and offered to only start charging on my move in date 2 weeks later and spread the rent charge of those 2 weeks on later increased monthly rent payments. However the next day I decided I didn’t want to go with the room given how small it is and that I’m having to pay for a period when I’m not working possibly longer as my job start date is tentative and hasn’t been confirmed so if it’s pushed back more I could be paying even more in rent. 

Though I didn’t move in I kept some stuff (just two boxes) in the room on the day I was originally supposed to move in before later that day deciding I didn’t want to go with the room.

I called the landlord and told him it wasn’t going to work out but if I could stay one month as he could use my deposit as 1 month rent while he finds another tenant. He said he would have to think about it, but the next day I noticed he has advertised the room on SpareRoom for move in immediately! 

What chance do I have of getting my deposit back as I haven’t signed the lodgers agreement?
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Comments

  • Bradden
    Bradden Posts: 1,075 Forumite
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    I would think that leaving property in the room would be considered "moving in".
  • master12rebac
    master12rebac Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post
    Bradden said:
    I would think that leaving property in the room would be considered "moving in".
    Ok, so if I “moved in” would I be liable to pay 4 weeks rent according to the contract as I “gave my notice”?
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,569 Forumite
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    Bradden said:
    I would think that leaving property in the room would be considered "moving in".
    Ok, so if I “moved in” would I be liable to pay 4 weeks rent according to the contract as I “gave my notice”?
    Probably. Depends on how generous the landlord is, and how quickly he can find a replacement lodger.

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  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Posts: 2,461 Forumite
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    edited 25 March at 2:44PM
    Hi,

    I put down a deposit (1 month rent) for a room in a house intending to move in and stay there for 12 months.

    Please clarify. Was this
    a) a holding deposit, to reserve the property?
    b) a security deposit to be held in case you cause damage etc?
    c) advance rent?
    I suspect it was a) above in which case the 'Tenant Fees Act' -prohibits holding deposits of more than 1 weeks rent. See guidance below. P43 applies to holding deposits and P6 explains enforcement.
    Did you get a receipt and what (exactly) does it say?

    The lack of signiture on the contract is irrelevant - you clearly created a contract by moving belongs in - the terms of that contract would be as supplied to you.


  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,266 Forumite
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    Seek advice from Shelter.

    No matter what the contract says, if it is in conflict with the law then it is the law that applies. Lodging in this situation (live-in landlord) is not legally compatible with a long notice period.
  • Bradden
    Bradden Posts: 1,075 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    Seek advice from Shelter.

    No matter what the contract says, if it is in conflict with the law then it is the law that applies. Lodging in this situation (live-in landlord) is not legally compatible with a long notice period.
    I don't see any reference by the OP to notice periods? They just want the deposit back.
  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Posts: 2,461 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Seek advice from Shelter.

    No matter what the contract says, if it is in conflict with the law then it is the law that applies. Lodging in this situation (live-in landlord) is not legally compatible with a long notice period.

    and I'd be interested to know what 'law' it is that prohibits a long notice period. If that's what the contract specified (though actually that's not what the OP said) then contract law would apply.
  • master12rebac
    master12rebac Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post
    Hi,

    I put down a deposit (1 month rent) for a room in a house intending to move in and stay there for 12 months.

    Please clarify. Was this
    a) a holding deposit, to reserve the property?
    b) a security deposit to be held in case you cause damage etc?
    c) advance rent?
    I suspect it was a) above in which case the 'Tenant Fees Act' -prohibits holding deposits of more than 1 weeks rent. See guidance below. P43 applies to holding deposits and P6 explains enforcement.
    Did you get a receipt and what (exactly) does it say?

    The lack of signiture on the contract is irrelevant - you clearly created a contract by moving belongs in - the terms of that contract would be as supplied to you.





    I'm not sure what type of deposit, I think it may be a security deposit as the contract mentions the "deposit (against damages and defaults" and defaults includes paying the rent due.
  • master12rebac
    master12rebac Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post
    Bradden said:
    Seek advice from Shelter.

    No matter what the contract says, if it is in conflict with the law then it is the law that applies. Lodging in this situation (live-in landlord) is not legally compatible with a long notice period.
    I don't see any reference by the OP to notice periods? They just want the deposit back.

    The lodgers agreement says the licensor has the right to give minimum 1 week notice and not less than 4 weeks by the licensee to the licensor.
  • master12rebac
    master12rebac Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post
    I must also add that the landlord hasn't given me a key to the house...his excuse was that he didn't have it at the time of my dropping off the things in my room.
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