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Hi,

 

I need some advice as I am unsure of my position at the moment. Oct 2012 I found a property to rent through a local letting agents, I paid £300.00 in fees. I applied for the Council bond scheme which had no end of issues with it, fast forward too today it is now all sorted. I am now at the point of signing the AST, however a recent inspection of the property has found both white and black mold all over the place, the wall are not just damp but soaking wet, and the damp proof that was supposed to have been done, wasn't.

 

When I viewed the property in Oct 2012 none of this was evident, and without stripping wallpaper there was no evidence of damp and/or mold issues. At the moment the property is uninhabitable, my partner has serve asthma that a temp drop can set off an attack, it can also affect my health seriously. The Landlord is not refusing to get it sorted but is very apathetic about the whole property.

 

I have found another property that is in better condition etc and tempted to take it, but my question is what can I do to recover the £300.00 in fees I have paid as this is no small amount as I am unemployed after ill health and struggling to find a Job. The fees where to paid for one credit reference on me, drawing up a tenancy, and guarantor paperwork and reference. I have also refused to sign the AST until the issues are either sorted or I get my fees back bar a reasonable charge for the above items.

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Has the LL been holding the property for you since October 2012 whilst you sorted out your deposit issue?

 

Has someone been living there? Or has the delay been caused by your issues with the deposit?

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There is no deposit, we are on the council bond scheme, which ha caused issues due to one person being fired and the other going off sick with my paperwork in their car, the property has been empty since 2011.

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Yes, I am aware of that, but the guaranteed deposit scheme IS in place of the deposit, so the question stands, was the delay caused by your issues with the deposit?

 

If yes, even if the house has been empty for 2 years (and if it has, it is no wonder that it has mould issues as it probably won't have been heated for a lengthy period of time), then I doubt that you have a valid claim for the return of your holding deposit. The property has, in fact, been held for you for the last six months, which is a huge amount of time. If you've found somewhere else, then by all means move there. If you haven't signed the tenancy agreement for this property then at least the LL won't be able to pursue you for any further costs.

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The £300.00 was not for a holding deposit, I checked this before I handed over the money. It was for the following items previously mentioned and nothing else.

 

Issues where caused on both sides by the council and the letting agent.

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So £300 for credit and other checks for both T & G, drawing up an AST, what LAs like to call T application fee poss plus LA admin, I guess not much change from £300 at what LA charges.

If you withdraw, unlikely to get £300 back and LL could sue for breach of implied contract to occupy, say 2-3 wk loss of rent, so if not too late, poss get local EHO to give opinion on damp as unfit for habitation.

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The £300.00 was not for a holding deposit, I checked this before I handed over the money. It was for the following items previously mentioned and nothing else.

 

Issues where caused on both sides by the council and the letting agent.

 

These were your "Admin Fees" as you mentioned. When these were paid, did you sign a terms and condition? his should explain that if you do not go ahead with the let, then you will lose the fee.

If however the terms were not on the initial paperwork, or you did not sign, the you may be able to pursue the agent for this, unlikely you will succeed.

 

As said if the property has stood empty with no heat then it will be damp and musty.

 

I think you are extremely lucky that the property has not been put back on the market. If you are not happy with the property, then get something else a mark the lose down to experience.

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