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kopper

Withholding of legal fees paid towards commercial lease

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I'm a little stumped as to who can answer my query so here goes.

 

I have been searching for new commercial premises (rental) 

I approach one company (I'll leave out their details for now but they are a very respectable one)

 

After a month discussing and viewing potential properties 

one became available that fitted my requirement on an old estate where the properties were a little rundown.

This was reflected in the prices (127 pcm for 485 sqft) 

 

at no stage in my four week feelings with the agent did they inform me that a credit search was required before leases could be signed.

But an importance was placed on the payment of legal fees(£600) before any offer could be accepted by the agent and or landlord.

 

as time was tight I transferred the money covering the fee over to the account who's details were added to the invoice covering the fees.

Head or terms ( 6 year lease break at 3rd year if required) were signed and sent back to the agent.

It was only then ( a few day before an intended completion date) that the agent sent me an email which contained a Homelet online form to complete.

 

As I said Until this point no mention was made of the need for references, and seeing as the properties were described as ' because the units were so cheap you take it or leave it' I wasn't given any indication that  references would be require.

 

Shrugging my shoulders I completed the form which confusing 

didn't ask for a commercial landlords contact details but those of my residential landlord.

And as I was self employed accounts or HMRC tax return.

I completed the form and emailed my signed copy of the head of terms back to the agent. 

(Hope I'm not loosing anyone?)

 

shortly after I received an email from the agent that because of due diligence they would have to ask me to forward details of a guarantor for the lease who they could could proceed with a credit check on. This request at such a late place in the proceedings especially after so many weeks of silence on the matter was a little annoying.

 

I refused to offer such requested they perform a credit search through the normal way (for a commercial transaction) as I new my credit record was of a respectable level (Experian 922 out of 999 Creit karma 613 out of 710)

they refused to do this and said we would have to come to some other arrangement. 

 

My Reply was to give notice of my decision to withdraw my intention to proceed.  

Requesting the return of legal fees.

 

Since then all I have heard from them is they wish to discuss that matter over the phone.

I replied sating as the matter had become strained I would prefer to handle the matter vie email so a record any further development were on record.

And I need their answer on the repayment of the £600.

 

Since then all I've had is an email giving me directions on how to proceed with a complaint.

No mention on refunds or in this situation whether a refund is required. 

 

Sorry if it a little long winded but it is what it is, thanks 

Mark 

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As a foot note I have checked my credit file an there are no searches by Transunion on their own site Equifax or Experian. I contacted my residential landlord who's details were giving on the Homelet form and he says he hasn't been contacted by anyone either. 

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