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Need advince on letting agency agreement

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Hi guys,


I would like to rent a property in London. Unfortunately, I am a foreigner without any experience with renting property in the UK.


I have found a very nice propertythat I would like to rent through an agency. I am a student and the landlord asks for 6 months of rent in advance in addition to a 6 weeks deposit. Which is quite common, I assume.


I was at the agency's office today to sign a form which basically states that I would like to rent the property and also defines the terms of my payments. This form states that I will have to pay the total balance within 48 hours after my references are checked. This is fine with me. However, I am supposed to pay everything to the letting agency directly and not to the landlord (the letting agency will be the owner of the bank account). Is this a normal procedure in the UK? I had suspected I would pay the amount to the landlord directly or into a trust account. I have not even met the landlord yet, only visited the flat.


Doing this basically means I won't have any security. At the moment I have no idea who the landlord is. I also have no idea whether the agency has a valid contract with the landlord. Even if the agency had a valid contract with the landlord, there is a chance that the agency defaults and the landlord would not receive any money because it's the agency's bank account.


I would like to ensure that I have a legal right to live in the flat I have paid for. I do not want to transfer a quite substantial amount to a small agency without any security.


At the moment I am a little bit lost. I would very much appreciate if anybody could give me some advice on whether this is common and also on how to proceed.


I my home country you basically sign a contract with the landlord directly, pay all the money to him/her and one of the parties pays the agency - if any.


Thank you very much in advance,


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Common practice, you have no more or less security than you would otherwise. Nothing to worry about.

7 years in retail customer service


Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years


By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.


Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Thank you very much. And when you usually receive a signed contract from the landlord, before or after you have paid deposit and the 6 month rent? I would assume before... however the agent tells me I cannot receive the contract before he has the money.


Thanks again,


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The money for deposit and rent etc is paid at the same time you get the tenancy agreement

You give them the money and they give you the tenancy agreement which you sign there and then

Edited by callumsgran



Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p



I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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Hopefully you don't get rip off, because the so-called ''trust fund'' often magically disappear when you move out, but as someone who doesn't have guarantor this is the way you have to do it, just hope things will all be fine when you move out!

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