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Asked to pay outgoing tenant's deposit before referencing.

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One of my daughters has applied to take over a room in an existing shared tenancy for a London flat which will be vacant when one of the 3 existing tenants moves out soon.

In order for the take-over to be accepted, and prior to obtaining her references, she was required to pay the outgoing tenant's share of the deposit, equal to 6 weeks rent in advance by direct bank transfer and for this tenant to confirm back to the agency that they had received it.

Is this usual practice ? 

What would happen if the references failed ?

This is all being organized by a local bona-fide rental agency with a main street office..

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Doesn't seem right to me. Your daughters contractual relationship is with the Landlord, not the outgoing tenant. How would the deposit protection scheme work if technically you never paid a deposit to the Landlord? Of course their is nothing to stop the Landlord forwarding the money onto the leaving tenant the same day if they wish too.


Fast forward to your daughter leaving this room, what happens if the new tenant doesn't want to pay your daughter her deposit back?

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This sounds like the landlord is trying to avoid paying the £20 fee for the deposit protection scheme by just passing the same deposit from tenant to tenant.

I doubt that thats legal and effectively your deposit is unprotected.

The bigger point is that a LL who quibbles about £20 is probably not a very good (or very solvent) LL.

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  • 9 months later...

It's unconvincing. Max deposit is 4 weeks rent, and it should be handled by authorised third party as well. It will be protected that way.  Don't trust agencies with this - some of them will rip you off at the end of the contract - I saw agencies framing/blaming tenants for damage which was there from before or pretty normal to happen for longer usage (i.e faucets/ wall paint) which should not be covered by deposit money. 

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