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Help Needed: Rental Gazzumping


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We made an offer on a flat in London. The landlord accepted it. We received the contract through our estate agent, signed the contract, gave all of the required documentation to our estate agent, and gave them the deposit and first month's rent. Just received a call that the landlord has received other offers and now either wants us to pay more or won't give it to us. I am guessing the answer is no, but is there anything we can do about this? Landlord didn't sign the contract but orally accepted the offer with estate agent.

I am sorry, but are there no ethical landlords out there? We are perfect tenants. Never late on rent; never break a lease or negotiate down in bad times; don't call with tons of repairs and do minor repairs ourselves if possible; have never even lost deposit money at the end of tenancy. Don't mean to sound pollyanish, but the experiences we have been having with landlords is making us think maybe we need to become annoying and demanding.

Rant done, but any insight on the above would be appreciated.

Thank you.

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It's a bit like signing a contract for a job and a better one comes along and you tell company one to p1ss off. They could technically sue you but in reality it's not worth it.

Kinda like it's not worth having a bad relationship with a landlord before you've even moved in.

What you need to do is ring the guy and tell him how big of a fu kin greedy c unt he is. This will give you immense satisfaction. Do it now.

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If your offer was less than the initial asking rent I'll bet there is no 'other offer' they are just trying it on.

Walk away and consider it a lucky escape - my guess is the L/Lord is having to subsidise the rent and only realised he couldnt afford it after having the time to think things over.

not forgetting to sue for the all the expense he has put you through.

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I am tempted to sue just for the principle of the thing. Seems like the more people let this type of thing go the more it happens.

No, we didn't offer below. We agreed on the asking price, which is what the current tenants pay.

Went through an estate agent, so we have no direct contact with the landlord or I would call him now. Can't even get that satisfaction, which is why I am now tempted to sue just on principle alone.

And I agree completely, not sure I would want to live there with this kind of landlord. Now I have to deal with getting my deposit and first month rent back in time to be able to get another place.

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Satch, I know. And I would likely lose. But it would put them through the headache we have been through.

Don't worry....I will not really sue. I just find the lack of any real ethics tiring. It creates a culture of tenants expecting to be screwed and thus treating the landlords with distrust and antagonistic behavior at the outset. And what prevents landlords from "getting offers" every time? It is disgraceful.

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We made an offer on a flat in London. The landlord accepted it. We received the contract through our estate agent, signed the contract, gave all of the required documentation to our estate agent, and gave them the deposit and first month's rent.

I'd try to sue. Regardless of whether the LL/LA signed the documentation their receipt of the deposit and the first month's rent means you had every reason to believe it would go through. If you can demonstrate you have suffered financial loss through this situation then do it. You are not being pollyanish at all. Do you think if you pulled out the LA/LL would not try to hold you to it? Free legal advice in my signature below.

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I'd try to sue. Regardless of whether the LL/LA signed the documentation their receipt of the deposit and the first month's rent means you had every reason to believe it would go through. If you can demonstrate you have suffered financial loss through this situation then do it. You are not being pollyanish at all. Do you think if you pulled out the LA/LL would not try to hold you to it? Free legal advice in my signature below.

Indeed. IANAL, but I'd have thunk the fact that you paid in good faith makes a very good case that you have an enforceable contract. Worth at least following up with shylock's .sig?

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We made an offer on a flat in London. The landlord accepted it. We received the contract through our estate agent, signed the contract, gave all of the required documentation to our estate agent, and gave them the deposit and first month's rent. Just received a call that the landlord has received other offers and now either wants us to pay more or won't give it to us. I am guessing the answer is no, but is there anything we can do about this? Landlord didn't sign the contract but orally accepted the offer with estate agent.

I am sorry, but are there no ethical landlords out there? We are perfect tenants. Never late on rent; never break a lease or negotiate down in bad times; don't call with tons of repairs and do minor repairs ourselves if possible; have never even lost deposit money at the end of tenancy. Don't mean to sound pollyanish, but the experiences we have been having with landlords is making us think maybe we need to become annoying and demanding.

Rant done, but any insight on the above would be appreciated.

Thank you.

had the agent signed the contract on the LLs behalf? And for some reason, they always insist I sign at the Agents premises. And your copy??

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  • 2 weeks later...

If your offer was less than the initial asking rent I'll bet there is no 'other offer' they are just trying it on.

Walk away and consider it a lucky escape - my guess is the L/Lord is having to subsidise the rent and only realised he couldnt afford it after having the time to think things over.

then how can he afford it whilst property empty?

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I suspect you can only sue the Agent. Check out the Law of Agency. Until the landlord has signed anything your arrangement is only with the LA. If you have suffered a financial loss then there is nothing to stop you suing the LA. They accepted your offer and took your deposit. That is an agreement in its own right!

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