When does a contract start?
I let out a licensed HMO student let (good quality) and had one room vacant due to the tenant obtaining a placement year with a company and not wishing to return this year. I "let him off" because I know I can normally let the room as we are close to the University and it is a good quality property.
The University put a prospective tenant's mother in contact with me as they were requiring a room for the son as he has a place at the local University. Wednesday last week 11th Sept, the room was almost let to them. they wanted extra pictures of the room, I took pictures and e-mailed them to mother & son. Mother and son live in Jersey so could not view in person before deciding.
I said if the room is too small for the tenant it is not a problem as I have a viewing arranged for a potential tenant at the weekend and the property is advertised on the student website.
Having seen the photos the answer came back "Yes" they want the room.
The mother paid the deposit on behalf of her son plus the rent for September and was to set-up a standing order for the balance of the 10 month contract.
The mother bought goods and had them sent to the property for her son, the tenant.
I checked that the tenant has a UK passport - not seen as yet.
I provided a copy of the DPS T&C plus the scheme details to the mother as she had provided the monies for the deposit on behalf of her son.
The official contract copies for the tenant and the landlord where put together for the tenant to sign when he arrives tomorrow - 18th September.
This afternoon (17th) the mother telephones on behalf of the tenant and cancels the contract and asks for her deposit and rent payment to be returned in full, as she put it, "she has signed nothing".
A) the contract is not with the mother.
B) I turned away a potential tenant who was due to view because the tenant had paid both the rent and deposit for the room in the property.
C) The tenants reason for refusal was he didn't like the other tenant's Facebook entries! (he doesn't know them and hasn't met them).
Although the tenant has not yet signed the contract copies the commitment has been made by virtue of their actions.
Are they in the eyes of the law liable - at least until I get a new tenant?
I have turned away a potential tenant plus I took the advert off so it could no longer be viewed. I also changed the room around to 3 different layouts and took pictures of each et cetera.
Where do I stand?
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